Why I deleted Facebook

559 words. 5 minutes to read.

I’m deleting my Facebook account this week.

Already I can feel a weight lifting.

For a long time I’ve barely used the site, yet for so long I’ve felt like I couldn’t quite let go. I wondered how I’d keep in touch with all those friends from school, from University, and from my life back in Australia that I left a decade ago. How would we keep in touch without Facebook?

I was afraid that if I let go, if I deleted my account, I’d regret it. It almost felt forbidden to consider deleting Facebook.

To delete Facebook would also be time-consuming. It would mean trawling through over two thousand images, plus probably a thousand more funnies, all in countless disorganized folders, plus my “timeline” and “mobile downloads” folders. It would take at least a day, probably longer.

Why I deleted Facebook

To be honest, the biggest difficulty was this: I knew that deleting Facebook would mean making hard decisions. Decisions I’d delayed. Deleting stuff would mean tying loose ends, finalizing parts of my life that needed to be finalized.

Facebook: Social media for electronic hoarders

Truth is, Facebook was holding my life for me, but it was a life that I didn’t particularly want to hold on to. It was controlling me, encouraging me to keep up connections and data that had no real meaning.

I called myself a minimalist, but online I was an electronic hoarder.

Taking a month off social media gave me time to consider what social media was actually about.

I learned that I used Facebook as an emotional crutch. It gave me excuses, over and over again, to not say goodbye to everything that should have left my life a long time ago.

Time to say goodbye

I desperately needed to say goodbye.

A normal human life involves letting go of the past. A healthy person becomes a hoarder when they are unable to do this, when every tiny little thing becomes important.

Instead of letting go they hold on and cling to the detritus of their lives because they’re afraid of throwing away something that might be important, maybe, possibly.

For me, Facebook enabled me to become a hoarder of friends and memories, of photographs and holiday memorabilia and people I haven’t seen for thirty years who have long since moved on to other things.

They should have left my life, but Facebook brought them back, and gave them a home in my already busy life.

I found myself having to find time not only for the friends I have here and now but for the friends I had when I was ten years old!

When I first joined Facebook, I rediscovered all these things that should have stayed in the past. Then I built pseudo-connections around them and spent time with them, to the detriment of living in the present.

I built an online hoarder’s world. And I only just realized it. I took a decade and more to realize it.

Awakening

So I’m letting Facebook go now.
I’m letting everything on Facebook go.

That doesn’t mean I’ll lose my friends, because the meaningful, current friends I connect with on Facebook will stay connected to me.

Real bonds don’t break. We’ll find each other, connect with one another, in other ways. The friends of here and now belong here and now. The important friends from the past will stay too, because they belong with me as I journey forwards. But I can say goodbye, and let others go, just as they can let me go too.

I’ve posted my details. My real friends will find me, as I will find them.

But Facebook? Yes, it’s time to say goodbye.

I hit delete.
I’m moving on. My Facebook account is toast.
I’m embracing today. And the fresh air tastes great! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Why I deleted Facebook

  1. Maggie says:

    I deleted my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Yes, there is life after social media. I still miss checking them a little when I am bored.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m contemplating Pinterest next. I barely use it. Thanks for letting me know you’ve done this – you’re inspiring me to take the next step! 🙂

      Like

    • Good for you! Everything I’ve read of others who have taken this step is that very few people regret it.

      I haven’t used Facebook to any extent for the last few years anyway, so I’ll be glad when it’s gone. Pulling my photos down has been a nuisance, but I won’t miss Facebook!

      Like

    • Yes, you do.

      Facebook used to only have “deactivation” available, and there are some rumours suggesting that unless you delete individual content on your profile first, such as photos etc. (before deletion of your account) it will only be stored, not deleted.

      I’m in the process of deleting all content from my profile. That includes photos, comments, likes etc. Then I’ll delete the complete account. It’s taking a while, but I don’t want to keep the account lingering in any way. I’ll feel happier when it’s completely closed.

      Like

  2. Grunambulax says:

    From Fb
    What’s the difference between deactivating and deleting my account?
    Mobile Browser Help
    Computer Help
    Link label
    Mobile Help
    If you deactivate your account:

    You can reactivate whenever you want.
    People can’t see your timeline or search for you.
    Some information may remain visible to others (example: messages you sent).
    If you delete your account:

    You can’t regain access once it’s deleted.
    We delay deletion a few days after it’s requested. A deletion request is cancelled if you log back into your Facebook account during this time.
    It may take up to 90 days to delete data stored in backup systems. Your information isn’t accessible on Facebook during this time.
    Some information, such as messaging history, isn’t stored in your account. This means friends may still have access to messages you sent after your account has been deleted.
    Copies of some material (example: log records) may remain in our database but are disassociated from personal identifiers.

    Like

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