Facebook, one of the biggest and most influential networking site, has been growing (and still is) since it first came to the public. It has provided users lots of benefits like connecting to friends and family from different parts of the globe, providing worldwide news and updates in real time, an efficient and inexpensive tool for advertisers and business owners and many more.
Though the social networking site makes life a bit easier, it also has negative effects to its users. It became highly addictive for users who spend most of their time using the networking site. A study done by researchers from the University of Winchester showed that Facebook “addicts” felt isolated from their friends and family when they were asked to stop accessing their accounts.
Issues concerning privacy became a problem as well, especially in Austria where 25,000 users claimed that Facebook unlawfully tracked their browsing habits through installed softwares. They also found out that Facebook took part in an American spy programme called “Prism”.
Because of this, some users are thinking twice whether they would keep or delete their Facebook accounts. If you are one of those who are thinking whether to keep your account or rid your life of Facebook, here are two ways to do it.
You can either deactivate your account or permanently delete it. It may seem the same but there is a big difference between the two.
Deactivating your account is a temporary solution to your Facebook addiction. It is simply a hiatus that you can come back to. When you choose to deactivate your account, all the information and data found in your profile disappears to the public eye but is continuously saved within Facebook’s servers.
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This simply means that your account won’t be visible to your friends or anyone else unless you open it again. It is only hidden but not deleted, allowing you to open your account when you feel like coming back.
To deactivate your Facebook account, you must:
- Click the dark blue downward arrow at the top right of any Facebook page. It is located beside the lock symbol.
- Once you click it, a tab will appear. Look for “Settings” and select it.
- After this, look for “Security” in the left column and click it.
- Choose “Deactivate your account” and follow the remaining steps for confirmation.
Remember that deactivating your Facebook account is not a permanent solution. You can reactivate it by simply logging in with your email address and password.
For those who believe that Facebook is of no use to them, permanently deleting your account is the answer. The only catch with this option is that once you do it, you can never open the account again.
Before saying goodbye to your account for good, it is advised that you first download a copy of your information from Facebook:
- At the top right side of the page, click the downward arrow beside the lock icon.
- After clicking, a seperate dropdown menu will appear. Find “Settings” and click it.
- Look for and click on the link that says “Download a copy of your Facebook data”.
- Once you are done with this, go to “https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account” and click on “Delete my account”.
- Simply follow the remaining steps for confirmation.
However, it may take up to 90 days (or almost 3 months) before Facebook can delete every single thing that you’ve posted, liked or shared in your account and in their backup systems. They will be wiping all the data connected to your account.
During this process, your account will remain inaccessible to other users. However, those things that aren’t stored in your account will not be deleted, specifically conversations you had with your friends. You have to personally ask them to delete it if you want it to be removed.
Despite the number of users leaving the networking site, there are still those that remain active and enthusiastic about Facebook and its future. No one will blame you if you want to delete your account, maybe Facebook isn’t for everyone.