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Cooling off from, or deleting, Facebook

Let’s face it, between the Cambridge Analytica scandal, late last month theft of the personal data of 90 million users, and the havoc of incessant fake news that are spread on the platform,  it might have crossed your mind to call it quits with Facebook. Deleting your Facebook account is pretty easy, and, honestly, it is worth considering.

The advantages of deleting Facebook include having more time to pursue your vision or true purpose in life. Also, research has shown that young adults may actually be in a better psychological state of mind! You will happier and more confident, as you do not have to compare your Facebook metrics – such as the number of “likes.” Moreover, as a Facebook user, your personal data are forever owned by other people, who can literally do anything they want with them.

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Obviously, I would lack integrity if I tell you that social media, like Facebook or Instagram, don’t have values. They do. Some business people advertise on Facebook and this hopefully helps improve the bottom line. Also, Facebook allows you to keep up to date with your friends and to locate old ones. Thus, if keeping up with your friends is more important to you than the issues listed above, then, maybe you should keep your Facebook account. Otherwise, you need to start thinking seriously. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself “What values does keeping up with friends on Facebook and locating old ones have for me?” Or are you just bringing back old issues that should have been allowed to die natural deaths? Beyond the “feeling good” factor, what values are you really getting from someone with whom you haven’t connected with for eons? Moreover, friends do grow apart. If you are the type with big vision, chances are you are going to be dragged down by your Facebook-loving friends. This is because people with big visions don’t waste their time pursuing activities that do not directly support the achievement of their purpose in life.

There are a couple of things you can do with your Facebook account that range from cooling off from Facebook, to eventually deleting it if the odds are in favor of doing so:

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Deactivating Facebook: Rather than deleting Facebook outright, you could try to temporarily deactivate it, to see how you fare without it. When you deactivate, people won’t be able to see or go to your Facebook profile; your photos, posts and videos won’t be deleted; you can still use Facebook Messenger, and your profile picture will still be visible in your conversations. Also, people will still be able to search for you by name to send you a message, and you will continue to appear to friends on Facebook in places where they can message you. Moreover, you will still be able to use Facebook Login for your third-party apps. To deactivate your account, follow these steps: Account Menu > Settings > General > Manage your account > Deactivate your account. To reactivate, simply log back in with your e-mail address and password!

Disconnecting apps from Facebook: Even if you don’t deactivate or delete your Facebook account, to reduce exposure, you should disconnect all your third-party apps from Facebook. That is, do not log in to ANY third-party app through Facebook. To disconnect an app from Facebook, go to the app and navigate to the menu for this. This way, you will log in to your third-party apps directly with the usernames and passwords for the apps. This is a responsible thing to do.

Downloading your data from Facebook: You can download a subset or all of your data in Facebook at any time, and save it in an HTML format – which you can directly view – or into the JSON format, which you cannot view but can be read by other programs – including the possible future replacement for Facebook. Downloading your information can be found under Settings in Facebook. Depending on the amount of content you have and the speed of your Internet connection, it could take a few minutes or even an hour or more to download your information.

Deleting your Facebook account: If you delete your Facebook account, you won’t be able to reactivate it after the 30-day grace period given to allow you to change your mind. Your profile, photos, posts, videos, everything, will be permanently deleted. However, messages you sent to friends may still be visible to them after you delete your account, since copies of such messages are stored in your friends’ inboxes! To delete your Facebook account, follow these steps: Account Menu > Settings > Your Facebook Information > Delete Your Account and Information > Delete My Account. It may take Facebook up to 90 days to actually “delete” your account. While your deleted account will no longer be accessible to any one, Facebook and law enforcement may continue to keep your data. As Brian Chen of New York Times advises, “Be extra thorough about eliminating tracking methods that Facebook and other sites use to follow you. That includes clearing your web cookies, resetting your advertising identifier and installing a tracker blocker.”

 

 

 

 

 

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