Posted by: Whitney | May 27, 2011

Deactivating Facebook

A few days ago I finally followed through with deactivating my Facebook, and it was a really interesting process.

Before I deactivated, I went through a few steps. First, I downloaded a .zip file of all my Facebook information. The .zip file had all of my messages, wall posts, photos and videos since 2007 in one folder. Needless to say, it was creepy.

Next, I investigated what it meant to deactivate. Could I still get to my photo fan page? What if I wanted to get back on Facebook someday? While I was trying to find all this information, I found a new little box you have to click if you want to keep your old privacy settings. If you didn’t happen to find this little box, a lot more people could see your photos. It’s under the main page of privacy settings (not your photo privacy settings). I unchecked the box, and decided not to deactivate just yet.

Then, I went to the deactivate page. It picks five of your friends Facebook thinks you are closest with, displays a picture of the two of you, and then says that person “will miss you…” It may have been a little more effective if they displayed statuses you won’t see again, or people you used to be close with, but aren’t anymore. It didn’t pick my family or my friends from high school, and I thought that was weird. Instead, Facebook picked people I see everyday (like my roommate).

Before you can delete–oops, I mean, “deactivate”– Facebook, you have to select a reason why you are deactivating your Facebook. When you select a reason, it tells you the reason you selected is not a good enough reason to delete. It gives you a link telling you how to block someone, change your password or privacy settings. When I didn’t see my reason, I clicked other. Uh-oh, error page. You can’t delete without explaining your reason. So, instead, I chose that I had another Facebook account (I had to create another one to manage my photography page), and they don’t argue with that reason.

So, after a very long process, I officially no longer have my Facebook profile.  Before an hour of being Facebook-free, my mother had noticed that my Facebook was missing. Somehow she equated not being able to find my Facebook with not being able to find me. She wrote on my photography Facebook wall asking where I was. She changed her status to say that she couldn’t find me. I had no calls on my phone, no text messages, and no emails from her. I received a text from my cousin asking why my mom was freaking out about where I was. As I was reading that text, my roommate called to tell me that my mom was looking for me. Finally, I called my mom and explained I deactivated my Facebook. I also told her that she can text me, email me, or call me before I would read a Facebook post anyway.

The next morning I got a few texts like, “WHY DID YOU DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK?” and, “Facebook death?” No one could understand why I did it, and especially as a PR student. Why would you delete your Facebook? And it’s true! I feel really hypocritical. I just wish I could delete–or I guess I mean, “unfriend”– a lot more people from Facebook with out offending anyone!

I know that I’ll end up bring my Facebook back pretty soon, but probably in a week or so. I’m way too busy to waste away a few hours on Facebook this week, but it is a pretty great tool. For example, researching Dannon on Facebook for J543 this week was extremely for my research. Instead of waking up and checking Facebook, I’ll check my e-mails, Twitter, and blog. It’s so much more productive!  Maybe I can get myself in the habit of doing that, reading news, and then checking Facebook.

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