Facebook 's come in for a lot of criticism lately, and one of the biggest is that it collects a massive amount of personal information on each of its users and uses that information for its ad targeting. Then there's the fact that the social network became a tool for a large number of Russian operatives to spread fake news and ill feeling during the election cycle, and it's still being used that way today.
And the fact that early executives say Facebook was deliberately designed to suck up as much of your time as possible.
Or maybe you're just sick of wading through funny animal videos and inspirational sayings set against sunsets and mountains. Whatever the reason, you've had enough of Facebook and you want out. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as it sounds. Here are your options for getting out of Facebook, depending on exactly what you want to have happen and, frankly, how much time you have to invest in the process.
None of this is as easy as it should be, but here's how to do it:. If all you want is to spend less time on Facebook, then the simplest and easiest thing to do is simply log out of your account and delete the Facebook app from all your devices or if even that seems like too much, log out of your account there too and turn off all notifications from Facebook.
There are a few drawbacks to this approach. First, your Facebook friends who are accustomed to communicating with you there won't know what's become of you so you might want to post on your news feed that you're going away for a while or forever.
Second, if you're concerned about all the data Facebook is holding onto about you If you're concerned that a prospective employer or date will look you up on Facebook and find embarrassing information or photos, logging out won't change that either.
But at least you won't be adding any more embarrassing content. Deactivating your account is a completely reversible step that will hide you and most of your information from searches on Facebook although your name may still show up in your friends' list of friends or in messages you've sent.
If your main concern is to avoid having a prospective employer or your ex find you on Facebook, deactivation may be the best option.
You can change your mind and reactivate your account at any time, and everything will be right where you left it. For something with few consequences, deactivating your account on Facebook ought to be easier than it is.
Go to settings on Facebook via the drop-down arrow on the upper right corner of the page. Choose General Account Settings if Facebook doesn't take you there by default. Click "Manage Your Account," the bottom item on the list. From there, choose "Deactivate Your Account. After that, even though deactivation is completely reversible, Facebook will ask you if you're really sure. Facebook assumes you don't have their email addresses or phone numbers and they don't have yours.
On top of that, it will show you photos of a few of your friends, declaring that each of them "will miss you. Assuming that's not enough to change your mind, it will ask you to fill out a short survey explaining why you're deactivating your account. Take note that by default, even when your account is deactivated, Facebook will go right on sending you emails whenever someone invites you to an event or tags you in a photo.
If you don't want that, you'll have to opt out here.
Once you do all that, your Facebook account will be deactivated--until the next time you log in. And of course, Facebook will go right on keeping all your data. Deleting your account really isn't easy and comes with a couple of extra drawbacks.
Chief among these is that you'll also be shut out of any apps you've linked to Facebook for your sign in. Fortunately, Facebook will tell you which apps those are. Go into Settings and click "Apps" in the left-hand column. I was completely blown away when I tried this.