1. Realise you’re sick of it
Even before my 30-day digital declutter, I hadn’t really used Facebook in months. I increasingly felt like it offered nothing and just filled up my attention with things I didn’t really care about. Since then I only checked in on it once or twice and each time there were 20+ “pretend” notifications that felt like Facebook was getting really needy. Time to cut the cord.
2. Check which apps use Facebook
You might have used your Facebook account to sign up with other services. It’s ok, you didn’t know any better. But now you need to switch these services to an email login, otherwise you’ll lose access. You can view your list of connected apps here. There will be lots of things you neither care about nor use but check carefully for any apps you still use. For me, that was only Strava. This was easy to rectify: I just had to go down the “Forgot my password” route and this allowed me to set a password and enable email login. This step will be different for each service so do your research.
3. Download your data
Strictly speaking, you don’t have to download your data. But I wanted to retain it. It is my personal data, after all.
You can download your data in either HTML or JSON format. My data came to 672mb. I joined Facebook in 2007, so that’s 14 years of data. In a strange turn of events, I was actually very impressed at the presentation of the data. You can open various HTML files and start browsing your data in a minimal interface, as if you had your own private, offline Facebook. The developer in me is also quite excited about having some fun with this data. Everything, I mean everything, is there: photos, events, notifications, statuses, likes, messages.
4. Press delete
Go to Settings. Scroll down to the Your Facebook Information and then Account Ownership and Control > Deactivation and Deletion > Delete Account.
5. Wait 30 days
After you’ve hit the magic button you’ll be told:
Your account is scheduled for permanent deletion.
Facebook will start deleting your account in 30 days. After 6 Nov 2021, you won’t be able to access the account or any of the content you’ve added.
To cancel the deletion of your account and retrieve any of the content or information you’ve added, go to Facebook.
6. Feel lighter
A source of endless noise and artificial drama is gone. Listen to the wonderful silence. If you listen carefully you’ll hear a light whoosh as hundreds of megabytes of your personal data disappears from the Internet, not to mention the fingertips of advertisers.
11 Nov 2021