Is Deleting Your Facebook Account Really a Good Idea?

Facebook Account Deletion a Popular Topic Lately

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[ Social Media]

Since Facebook announced its plans to take over the web, there has been a lot of talk about privacy concerns, and about deletion of Facebook profiles. There is also concern about the lack of openness in Facebook’s Open Graph initiative. Others are just bored with the social network. Whatever the reasons, an increasing number of people seem to be interested in deleting their Facebook profiles.

Have you considered deleting your Facebook profile? Let us know.

Matt Cutts and other Googlers de-activated their accounts soon after the Open Graph initiative was announced. Remember, you don’t have to delete the account to de-activate it. Facebook makes it very easy to stay. In fact, if you go to delete your account, they will try to guilt you into staying by telling you which of your friends will miss you.

There are apparently (as Danny Sullivan points out) so many people searching for how to delete their accounts, Google is even offering the suggestion "How do I delete my Facebook account?" as a suggestion for a query begining ‘how do I":
Google Suggests "How do I delete my Facebook Account?"
It would be interesting to know how many people that are figuring out how to delete their profiles are actually going through with it. Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb, for example, just stood on the "edge of the cliff" before backtracking (though I don’t think he intended to go through with it).

Google Insights for Search data shows a pretty big upswing in Facebook account deletion interest over the last year or two (hat tip: Huffington Post):

Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur posted the following video talking about why it’s probalby not the greatest idea to delete your Facebook account:

Loic makes a pretty good point about Facebook’s usefulness as a source of public data, and about how you should basically consider everything you do online to be public, if privacy is your concern. As he notes, even emails can be forwarded.

Still if you choose to stick with Facebook, knowing your privacy settings is a good idea. The New York Times has an interesting diagram of what it calls a "bewildering tangle of options" for managing privacy on Facebook. "To manage your privacy on Facebook, you will need to navigate through 50 settings with more than 170 options," the publication says.

It will be very interesting to see if a significant amount of people drop Facebook, but at this point, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. One guy recently started an initiative to get people to join him in leaving Facebook. It’s not working out so well so far. Josh Levy pledged, "I will delete my Facebook account but only if 10,000 other Facebook users will do the same." The deadline is May 31st. So far he has 76 people.

This isn’t like when people started abandoning their MySpace accounts for Facebook. There’s no service here drawing people away. People have a lot invested in their Facebook accounts at this point, and as Facebook becomes integrated more and more into the fabric of the web and popular culture as a whole, many will find it hard to walk away even if they have considered it. Then of course there are the many, many people who simply love Facebook.

Do you think it’s a wise decision to abandon Facebook as it becomes a greater part of the web? Share your thoughts.

Is Deleting Your Facebook Account Really a Good Idea?
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  • i am a guest

    For some time now I have been concerned at face books attitude to privacy
    after apparently not learning from the last time I have decided to vote with my feet and walk. at least now I wont have to talk to people I barely know except through work

    i feel liberated

    now how to do the same with the info google have on me?

  • Jay

    OK at first . Then it got to be a pain. Everything I commented on was “liked” or not liked by this person who spends her entire day stalking people on Face Book. I thought it wasn’t any of her business to constantly judge what I said on my page. A couple of her comments were way out of line, then her friends started hounding me to “friend” them. When I didn’t, well you know. Then, her friends didn’t like my friends and so on… Privacy settings? Ha! I have a business and don’t have lots of free time to keep checking who might be saying stupid things. I also think adults should have better things to do with their time. Yeah, I’m outta there. Twitter works well for me as a social media and business tool. I agree with another poster here, who advises FB fanatics to go out and help someone, volunteer or something.

  • http://www.umutsesi.com admiraal

    this is just up the people theirown mind, i think!!!?
    sesli sohbet, sesli chat, seslisohbet, seslichat, sohbetsitesi, chat, domain, webcam, sesli ve kamerali sohbet platformu

  • Martin

    I never had an account and I don’t miss it. It’s perfectly easy to connect with people without giving up all rights to your information as FB requires you to do.

  • Duane

    I deleted my account successfully! I feel liberated. Instead of tending a fake garden and fake apartment, I have decided to work in my own garden, and have painted my living and dining room.

    I could care less about “the goings on” of other people’s lives, and I am sure no one really cares about mine. When did we all become brainwashed to believe we have some cache of celebrity, like anyone really cares? Narcissists all I tell you!

    I may be in the minority, but it feels good to be kinda invisible again. Plus, I got sick of all the crappy people from highschool reaching out to me 20 years later, like I cared about them back then (I didn’t and couldn’t wait to get away from them)…I have no interest in finding out what is going on in their lives, and none in sharing what is going on in mine.

    Real friends from now on!

  • lunvlifenow

    I started the deletion of my FB account 4 days ago. The message I got was, everything would be deleted after 14 days. I had that long to change my mind. If I logged into my account within the 14 days, my account would be reactivated. I’ve got 10 more days to go!

    Most of the people that I was in touch with on Facebook were people I went to High School with over 30 years ago. I think I just wanted to see what they all looked like. Now that I know, I’m done! It’s amazing how alot of their personalities are exactly the same. And that’s is not a good thing. After a couple of weeks reading everyone’s comments, I was getting more and more aggravated! For God sakes, pick up a phone and talk! Are we going backwards in time? It’s like inventing the telegraph after the invention of the telephone and thinking it’s the next big thing. Doesn’t anyone want to hear the inflections of other peoples voices or the sound of someone laughing? Not just an LOL. Which is very overused by the way!

  • Loki

    93% of the population don’t even have facebook. They are enlightened. (I mean world population not just america)

  • Dean

    Those idiots at facebook hq sent me an email saying my facebook page was disabled coz I added lots of people that I don’t know and sent emails to unknown people I haven’t done anything like that at all anyway i’m glad i’m off it that site wasted half my life and if I want to talk to people i’m gonna talk to them in person I can’t see the point of a website designed to talk to people that you already know over a website pick up the damn phone and talk haha I’m 24 I don’t need fb anymore lots of my real friends on there and not online random people that have added me are thinking of deleting their pages too

  • http://www.faceturkey.com facebook

    privacy settings are bad

  • Harold

    Just found this today (feb 2011). Type into google ‘Why is everyone del” and let google fill in the rest.

    Good times.

  • guest

    I just barely deactivated mine a few minutes ago and I think it was a great idea.. there are so immature people posting about every little thing that I don’t really care for. The invites for apps and games are extremely annoying! Plus were not able to actually hang out with the “friends” we had on fb because they’d rather be posting meaningless crap.

  • http://jobemusic.webs.com Jobebs

    I too have deleted my Facebook account. The hubris of it all deterred me eventually. Yes, I enjoyed using it and chatting to people and yes it’s a useful tool, but it never felt right subscribing to such an overpowering company.

    Then my fears were satiated. My friend, who is a total wizz with computers, showed me how much secret information he could retrieve from Facebook if he were a hacker. Yeah, people should be more careful online… But Facebook remains dangerous.

    As a wise guest commenter said earlier:
    “Forget the cynical, thieving philosophy that facebook is built on! I hate it for giving wide-eyed innocents the impression that they can skip knowing web standards, html, common sense information management, if they can use facebook. I think it set the web’s ability to present information in comprehensible, accessible form back to zero.”

    I predict their words will be heeded in a few months time.

  • http://ub7.net Wordpress

    Just deleted my facebook which i had created to play some games.

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