I Deleted My FaceBook Account

March 28, 2008

Quit Facebook

In an impulsive fit of blogger’s ire, I quit FaceBook last night, and deleted my account.

I never really used the site much, save for a month of flurried activity when I first signed up. My list of things I didn’t like about Facebook is much longer than my list of likes.

Facebook is certainly an impressive website. It’s MySpace that works. The apps are a brilliant idea.

Unfortunately I feel the above average technology is used in irritating or useless ways, and at worst – evil. That whole Beacon thing pissed me off.

It’s also just too popular for its own good. I reached a point where I was overwhelmed, spending time fending off emails with super pokes and vampires, resulting in blocking app behavior and ultimately deleting them. I was spending more time ignoring and preventing communication which is the opposite of what the site is supposed to be about. I didn’t feel enabled. I didn’t feel like I had any control. And most importantly: it wasn’t productive. Pretty much everything I did on Facebook was a just a huge waste of time.

Facebook became a chore, and not fun, so my usage dropped off considerably. And a social site you aren’t social on or having any fun with is… pointless.

Luckily, I was never a big enough Facebook user that quitting would mentally damage me. I wasn’t addicted to the site. It wasn’t integral to my life.

Deleting the account was straightforward enough, despite my concern that it would be hard. The most tedious part was deleting all my data first, as I’ve read they retain your data even after you delete your account. That meant deleting all apps, messages, and personal information, form field by form field. Even my picture is gone.

I’m still a little paranoid that my deletion wasn’t complete. A few more steps may be in order.

I suddenly feel lighter and a great burden has been lifted. Just like when I nuked my MySpace account.

Update: I got an email from a reader saying he didn’t find the account deletion process difficult. He got a confirmation email from Facebook saying it was deleted. I don’t believe I ever got that far, and my account was “deactivated” not deleted. Unfortunately, I don’t have a login and password anymore to see if this is true.

I’m glad I manually deleted all my information beforehand.


  1. Ross says:

    Gotta admit, I'm still addicted to FB.

  2. papa says:

    You had a MySpace account?!?! That one made me laugh! ;-)

  3. webomatica says:

    Sad but true, but I washed my hands of that experiment!

  4. Mike says:

    Interesting thought. They definitely should be enabling more communication than what they're currently doing.

    I keep my Facebook account because I know enough people with one – though, I keep my photos on Flickr, bookmarks on Del.icio.us, and delegate most of my outside activity to FriendFeed so that I can leave Facebook if I want to.

    By keeping everything modular, instead of piling it all into Facebook (as it supports replacing all of that), you can change things at will. It's unfortunate that all of my friends are trapped in Facebook, but I'm hoping OpenSocial changes things down the road.

  5. Mike says:

    P.S. – Deleted my MySpace account long ago, too.

  6. webomatica says:

    Mike, that's exactly it. FriendFeed essentially replaces that “social stream” thingie, and then there's this blog and twitter if anybody wonders what I'm up to. “Modular” is a great way to put it, and also I'm liking services that keep the data on the portable side so I can move everything elsewhere if need be.

  7. Mike says:

    Exactly. Data portability is more likely to get me to join a new service (and stay with it), because of the freedom it allots to move away.

    I'm a fan of the UNIX way of doing things – having multiple apps that do a single thing work together. APIs and feeds allow that more than ever before – tools like FriendFeed could not exist without them.

    Heck, Firefox and Thunderbird were created specifically because Mozilla was a big, bloated app that did a lot of things, but didn't do any of them really well.

    If Facebook doesn't open up soon, they'll face the same fate when something like OpenSocial matures.

  8. Adam Hyman says:

    Wow, I hope you don't have facebook regret…. and that you'll be unable to find your friends.

  9. tigerlil says:

    I only joined facebook recently – I was prompted by Scrabulous (http://scrabulous.com) which is horribly addictive and said it would be a “whole lot more fun ” if I joined Facebook which I had been considering cause Missy was having so much fun on there. god I hate it though…spent all this time setting up a profile etc (ETC) and wasted a ridiculous amount of time to get almost nothing interesting in return. The one app I really like is the Flcker which no one probably looks at anyway.

    I may join you! although the pulling out sounds time consuming

  10. tigerlil says:

    oh and ps…Scrabulous is not fun at all on facebook…it's much slower and a worse interface than just going and playing on the site. ridiculously so in fact. I'll be happy to quit facebook and all those annoying apps. soon everyone will realize it's as dumb as mySpace

  11. tigerlil says:

    I didn't like trying to clean it all out very well so I wrote them an email requesting a full delete. hope I'm not endangering my privacy with all the info I didn't delete myself….

    so I feel lighter now too except for that last bit of worry. I dumped mySpace awhile back, too. I'm less likely to sign up to anything else.

  12. webomatica says:

    Yeah it's tricky, I think if you're getting good use with facebook by all means stick with it, but I find I only have time / mental capacity to deal with maybe 3 or 4 of these social websites at any one time. Right now it's FriendFeed, Twitter, and I suppose this blog and everyone else's.

  13. webomatica says:

    So one can just play Scrabulous on Scrabulous.com? I should check that out. It's been a long time since I played Scrabble, online or off.

  14. tigerlil says:

    yep, you certainly can. it's very fun..except for a few glitches. I've gotten ridiculously good, but still have a low ranking because I have a really bad habit of running out of time on the timed games! usually when I'm almost doubling my opponents score…very silly in fact. I'm trying to overcome this tendency ; ) and up my ranking…which means I should be playing right now (or working on my web contract–hmmm?)

  15. marios says:

    I keep my Facebook account because I know enough people with one – though, I keep my photos on Flickr, bookmarks on Del.icio.us, and delegate most of my outside activity to FriendFeed so that I can leave Facebook if I want to.