Deleting Facebook, what do I need to know
September 16, 2022 8:50 PM   Subscribe

For reasons (so many reasons), I'm deleting my 10+ year old Facebook account at the end of this month. I have questions...

I've downloaded my file with my posts and photos. What can I do with this? Can I have it made into a little book or get the photos printed? Are they going to be in good enough quality, or does Facebook shrink them down so that if I print them they'll be blurred/pixeled. It has a lot of family photos and my computer was stolen with the originals, so I'd love to save them and get them printed. It looks like every photo I've uploaded is in the download I created - is it?

Is there anything I should do before deleting my account? Should I do a "so-long" to distant friends? Should I remove myself as admin from the groups I co-admin and from every group I'm a part of?

I use Facebook 99% for giving away items for free and getting items for free, so tips on non-facebook ways to do that in the US. I also use it for learning about local activities, should I go back to the old days of using the newspaper or are there new and better ways to learn about local events?

Anything else you wish you had done before you deleted your account or anything you were surprised by after you did?


*Yes, I know I can deactivate it, but it's time to say goodbye to Facebook for good.
posted by Toddles to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would trade emails with anyone you share even a tiny tiny small fond memory with. I deleted my Facebook ten years ago and there are probably about 35 people that I have thought of over the years that I can’t find on the internet that I wish I could have dropped a note to or Christmas card that were on my friend list ten years ago.
posted by flink at 8:54 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Freecycle was one of the original on-line services for giving and getting items for free. Check out your local one here - they are more than 5300 towns included. As a bonus, it does just this one thing so you can't committing to be part of larger system like facebook or nextdoor.
posted by metahawk at 9:22 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


My biggest surprise was how little I missed it. Getting distant friends’ other contact info is a solid idea, though.
posted by eirias at 12:47 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


I use Facebook 99% for giving away items for free and getting items for free, so tips on non-facebook ways to do that in the US. I also use it for learning about local activities, should I go back to the old days of using the newspaper or are there new and better ways to learn about local events?

The Buy Nothing Project is a hyper-local Freecycle platform; they started with a bunch of facebook groups, one for each chapter, but they recently rolled out their own app. So you could get the app.

As for local activities - email mailing lists about local events, or the occasional browse of web sites, is what I do. Granted, I'm in New York City where there's so much going on you kind of have to take the impetus in making sure you filter out the firehouse of Stuff, but most communities have some kind of "what's going on" web site somewhere.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:20 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


My biggest surprise was how little I missed it.

Same here!

>> Should I remove myself as admin from the groups I co-admin and from every group I'm a part of?

If it were me, I would remove myself as admin but wouldn't bother for groups. FB might do this automatically when someone quits, but who knows?

>>Should I do a "so-long" to distant friends?

I did, but my intent was to tip the scales for anyone else contemplating leaving. I also published my email, and then waited a week to give people enough time to see it and save it. (Although I wouldn't be surprised if FB has some sort of algorithm that looks for the phrases "leaving Facebook" or some variations and then buries it in people's feeds).
posted by jeremias at 5:41 AM on September 17


I started doing a "so long" to people I hadn't talked to in years, I only did a few, and then realized I had just given Facebook my new email address that wasn't associated with that facebook account. So maybe don't do that.

Also nobody seemed to understand that they were to EMAIL me not facebook message me! Even though I spelled it out very clearly! So then if I were to have continued with "so long"ing, I would have had an ACTIVE facebook account (instead of a long-dormant one) or a bunch of unread messages. Not sure how to address that, but it's something to consider.
posted by aniola at 8:37 AM on September 17


I also used Redact on my account. I deleted everything Redact would delete for me. I figure Facebook keeps everything even after it has been deleted, but if some sort of privacy law ever comes into effect that says you can't keep deleted things forever, I figure the more thorough the deleting, the better.
posted by aniola at 8:40 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Buy Nothing has a smartphone app now, and they're purportedly going to have a web app at some point. There's not a lot of people on the Buy Nothing phone app where I live, but it exists and I think it's going to take off at some point.
posted by aniola at 8:45 AM on September 17


Facebook always compresses images, whatever you have is as good as it's going to get.

If you have any personal data on there like addresses, birthdays, phone numbers, there is a good chance Facebook (and/or their advertising partners) will hold onto those even after you "permanently" delete the account, so it is not a bad idea to change/corrupt it all before leaving, Facebook will still hold onto every version of the data but they won't know which ones are real if you change them several times.
posted by Lanark at 9:49 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


In addition to Freecycle, I use NextDoor for giving items away for free. Most of the time, it works very well. There are occasional no-shows (and I keep a list and don't contact those people again), but I would guess that's true on Facebook as well.
posted by FencingGal at 11:59 AM on September 17


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