I finally did it. I deleted my Facebook account. New York Times had an article about this [link]. A little bit of effort and some waiting and I got it done. I am now permanently out of the house of Facebook.
For those interested, the process involves deleting all your content and then writing to Facebook support to delete the account. In my case, I got an email back in a day and a half from Facebook support confirming that they had deleted my account.
I found Facebook to be a drain on my time without commensurate benefits. This may be specific to me but Facebook did not do it for me. I don’t need a platform or podium – this blog serves that purpose and I also write on the Gridstone blog. My social network is in the real world and on my IIT and IIM batch social networks on Ning. In my opinion, Ning does a better job and gives the group more control over their experience. And LinkedIn does a fine job on professional networking.
My Facebook network was turning out to be largely a subset of my LinkedIn network. Almost every ‘friend’ request on Facebook was from someone who was linked to me on LinkedIn. Accepting friend requests was therefore a near 100% waste of time. On top of that there were these Facebook app requests. Damned if you respond to them, damned if you don’t. Facebook was never the right thing for me. Maybe it isn’t meant for regular business types over 40. Maybe I just don’t get it.
Facebook claims that on any given day people requesting reactivation of their accounts is roughly half the number of people requesting deletion of their accounts. Well, this account holder isn’t going back. That’s for sure.
You seem so relieved… I can imagine your level of annoyance. Welcome to the club.
I figured the only other way to get out of Facebook (that existed till now) was to attempt a mischief like Robert Scoble did. Try shifting your contacts from facebook using Plaxo script, pray to get caught and thrown out. Enabling voluntary ejection is truly empowering. Not all annoyed souls can be artful hackers. Facebook brand of democracy may be:)
It looks lot less scam now. The Web 2.0 geeks built their *Velcro business models* tried putting everything in the cloud and on open-source stack and raved about the freedom from vendor lock-in, while locking their own users in. It took a while to dawn on the users – You need to sweat out to get out.
Thank you for publishing how to get out of Facebook…App requests are too annoying, and if even by mistake you click on them, as you rightly say ‘you are damned’.
Interestingly, I am on the other path – understanding how facebook can help a business I am involved in.
Though every marketing podcast and blog out there told me that you got to have a presence on facebook, I am lost. I still can’t make my way through the clutter on my home page even with less than a handful ‘friends.’ Links crawl on to my homepage, thanks to the API and Apps, when my friends sneezed, coughed or winked. Some of them aren’t even my friends so I couldn’t care less if they sneezed.
If this post signals the beginning of facebook’s end, it tells us how fast web companies can climb to the top and fall. Not many months before, myspace was one of THE places to be. These days nobody even mentions it. I would like to revisit this post in three months. May be, quitting facebook will become common sense then.
I notice and connect two things in your post – that you found Facebook to be a drain on my time without commensurate benefits, and that it ended up being a subset of your LI network.
Granted, I am not a 40-something but here is where my experience differs from yours. FB for me is a social network, LI a business network. I keep the two separate because my “need” (even latent) of knowing certain details of the lives of the people I know differs depending on my interaction with them. FB feeds in a drip feed mode information that keeps me loosely connected to the lives of many to whom I will never write an email but with whom, if I meet at a dinner party, I shall have plenty to talk about. LI on the other hand keeps me updated with my professional contacts’ professional progress and I am happy with the manner and frequency of update. Of course my nephews and nieces are “friends” with me on FB but since I do not know them in a professional capacity, they will not be my contacts on LI, where I keep my network only limited to those I know and can vouch for. In an odd way, I am probably an LI purist and can not begin to trust those who boast of 500+ contacts. I also accept no approaches from those with whom I have had no professional contact.
Both networks have separate purposes. LI to me is a close-ties network, whereas FB is a loose-ties one. Over time some contacts may find their way to the other network but a 100% overlap sure makes one or the other redundant (and raises the question of the efficacy of either of them). Most research on network effects suggests that loose-ties are more effective and valuable than close-ties, both professionally and personally.
There is of course an age factor. Many of my most effective business contacts only ever use the “telephone network”!
Since the either-or is far from settled, all experiences – including yours – are rich data contributing to that understanding 🙂
Correction: Clearly a drain on YOUR time rather than MY time 🙂 Sorry!
Basab, Facebook profiles are (more or less, for now) forever!
Basab, excellent Blog, love reading it.
I had thought about joining Facebook but had some questions which you have answered very well in this article. This will help me avoid waste time.
Half of the people who leave Facebook don’t come back — it is interesting to know that Facebook marketing portrays this as a positive thing. And there must be some marketing correction factor in that data too.
Well done! I am off it too. For something that is supposed to make life easier, it ends up complicating things instead.