Want a Way to Delete your Facebook and Never Look Back?

Did you know if you choose to delete your Facebook account it actually takes 30 days, or more, for your account to officially disappear?

You can say you want it gone, but if you sign back in during any time in those 60 days, your account is activated again.

I Googled to see if there was a way to delete the account quicker than 30 days.

I was also feeling pathetic that I kept logging in to check stupid things (partially at the urging of my dad but that’s another issue for another day).

I felt better, however, when I read a comment on Quora where a person admitted they also kept being tempted to log back into Facebook. I have a feeling they felt better off when they were off it but — as I heard a pastor say a couple Sundays ago – the person was returning to what they were used to.

And what they and we are used to is negative news, negative thoughts, complaining, twisted up thoughts and views, drama, fear-inducing articles and declarations.

We know none of it is helping us but it is what we run back to when we are afraid, we are bored, or we are lonely.

None of that is going to fill the God-shaped hole in our chest, though. Never.

I know many of us have Facebook to keep in contact with friends and family and there is nothing wrong with that.

But how many of us have walked into a drama we had no place being in because of Facebook?

Or how many of us have involved ourselves in battles that were not ours to fight ?

Many of us, I’m sure.

So, if you’re ready to pull the plug on your Facebook, but don’t want to be tempted to log back in again, here is a good suggestion on how to do so.

  1. Create a NEW email id (you will be sacrificing it so don’t use your regular one)
  2. Go to Facebook settings and replace your regular email with the new one and verify it. Then you will be able to remove your phone number (if you had provided)
  3. Go to Facebook settings again, this time using the website on a browser that provides password suggestions, most people have chrome for that. Open the setting to change your password. Let your browser suggest you a password. Don’t try to remember it, just use it.
  4. Set your Facebook account for permanent delete.
  5. Open your browser settings and go to the place where it saves the passwords. Find facebook and delete the password.
  6. Delete the email id you created in Step 1

So far, it has worked for me. Good luck.

A quick reminder too: You don’t have to fully delete your Facebook. You can deactivate it and reactivate it when you are ready. I’ve been known to do this for weeks at a time and I think once for a month or so. There are instructions on how to do that on the Facebook site as well.

Wasting too much time talking about Facebook and what’s on Facebook and what we saw on Facebook and oh my gosh blah, blah, blah Facebook

I can’t be the only one who is completely sick of talking about Facebook, thinking about what I read on Facebook, or wishing there was an IQ test before people are allowed to post on Facebook.

So yeah, here I am writing about Facebook again, but maybe that’s because I’m logging off Facebook for Lent. No, I don’t usually celebrate “Lent” in the strict sense of the word, but this year I am trying to focus more on relaxing, my relationship with God and simply detoxing my brain. And to do that I have deactivated my Facebook account for an entire – gulp – 40 days. (I do, however, have a business page that is being maintained by a “ghost account” simply for blog posts. I won’t really be checking it because not too many people see the page,  however, and I have no “friends” on the ghost account.)

Incidentally, the phrase “detoxing my brain” makes me think of sliding a toilet brush in and out of my ears and after reading the cesspool that is the current state of national news, I think that might be a good analogy. I’ve really been trying to avoid the news as I begin to detox, I really have, but almost every day I find myself peeking through my fingers, hoping something positive has happened, only to see it’s only gotten worse every, single day. It’s completely insane how crazy the national media is and I no longer know what is true or who to believe so I decided not to believe any of them. Part of my detox, therefore, will also be trying not to look at any news sites, which I have actually blocked on my phone.

Note I say “national media. My husband is a member of the small town news media, and I used to be, and that is a whole other “kettle of fish”, so to speak. Smalltown news is pretty tame and less prone to sensationalism, though some people are convinced that the behavior of the national media is trickling down to the local newspapers. They look for conspiracies even in the coverage of the school board meetings, as if any of the small town reporters have enough time or gumption to concoct stories slanted one way or another. Most small town reporters want to get in and get out of their meetings and go home on their meager salaries and eat some beans out of a can while binge-watching Netflix, since they can’t afford cable on their salary.

But I have digressed – as I so often do.

My brother and his wife have decided to completely delete their Facebook accounts after Lent, if not before. Adapting to a world without Facebook will be a challenge, but it’s needed, my brother, who will turn 50 in a few more months, says. Turning 50 has apparently caused him to reexamine his life and I’d rather he give up Facebook than dump his wife for a younger woman and buy a Harley during this phase. I’ll miss tagging him in all those memes about being the favorite child, but texting him to say so will do just as well.

I am torn between wanting to completely delete my account and keeping it to stay in contact with some friends and family, but honestly, most of those friends and family don’t actually speak to me, even on Facebook. Most likely I’ll decide to say good-bye to Facebook by the end of Lent. I highly doubt I will be missing much when I do and I might even have more time for other activities like I did when I took a break from the social media giant in December. The best thing about shutting my account down? Never writing another bloody blog post about Facebook and hopefully never talking about it again either.

Planning to take a Facebook break yourself? Here is a link to some tips I learned during my last Facebook break.

What I have time to do now that I’m off Facebook

A couple of weeks ago I explained I’m in the midst of a 30-day Facebook detox or break, whichever you like to call it. I like the term detox because it does feel like I’m flushing some toxic thoughts and feelings out by restricting my Facebook access.

My ramblings about this break aren’t meant to convince anyone that Facebook or social media is evil, because while I feel it can be, I don’t feel it always is. Nor am I saying I’m better than someone who decides to be on Facebook on a regular basis.

People can connect with each other in many positive ways through Facebook, share images of grandchildren with grandparents, sometimes calmly share new ideas (emphasis on sometimes), and connect with people who have shared interests. These are all good things.

What isn’t good is how Facebook is set up to addict you to the constant need to never be left out and to feel you are loved simply because your notification bell made a little ringy-dingy (yes, I did just say that in Lily Tomlin’s voice. Yes, I am old enough to remember her doing those skits and if you’re not, do yourself a favor and look it up on YouTube, which can also be a time suck, so beware!)

I feel bad that last week I made my list of what I’ve learned so far with this break so negative, which is why I thought I’d share some of the positive aspects of signing off Facebook for 30 days. These are not listed in any particular order of importance.

1) I have had time to actually be bored and think. Yes, being bored, as I’ve mentioned before, is a good thing. When we give ourselves time to be bored we not only feel less rushed internally, but we open ourselves up to ideas – creative and otherwise.

2) I have more time to explore my passions and interests. I’m interested in photography, as you know, but I’m also interested in art and cooking. I’m finding more time for exploring cooking, but haven’t really sat down to get back into art like I want to, so that’s something I will be working on as this break continues (and hopefully beyond).

3) I have more time to gain knowledge or relaxation through books. I’ve been able to dive into books that make me think and books that don’t require me to think too much. I’ve been enjoying working my way through the latest Mitford books by Jan Karon and then for some deeper reading I’m reading about how our mind works via Dr. Caroline Leaf’s books “Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health,” and “Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscienctific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier Life.” I’m also reading “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” by Mireille Guiliano which I wrote about on my health blog which you can find HERE.

4) I have time to actually think about what I am eating. Both Leaf and Guiliano put emphasis on slowing down while choosing what you will eat and also while you eat. Leaf says our bodies take in nutrients better if we think about what we are eating and have a relaxed, positive attitude while eating. Standing up to eat, watching TV while we eat, talking on the phone or rushing around are all no-no’s to Guiliano and Leaf.

5) I have had time to cook some food ahead of time and freeze it to be able to pull out quickly on busy days so I don’t make bad food choices. This goes along with my effort to get healthier. I’ve made a few batches of homemade applesauce, froze some sweet peppers and some kale and also marinated some chicken in olive oil, sea salt, balsamic vinegar and garlic salt and froze that to pull out one day for dinner.

6) I have time to listen to podcasts and sermons. I enjoy listening to podcasts while I cook and I was able to do this some even when I was goofing off on Facebook but now I’m doing it even more. I mainly listen to Christian podcasts like Joseph Prince and Elevation Church. For humor I listen to The Skit Guys and for psychology I listen to Dr. Leaf (and then I spend the rest of the day talking to everyone in a South African accent and they answer me by asking me to stop talking to them in a South African accent.)

7) Time to exercise. That’s right. I’m actually exercising. Mainly just “Walking At Home” with Way-Too-Perky-Leslie Sansone. If you haven’t seen Leslie before she leads an aerobic type program of working out that mainly involves walking in place with some other movements thrown in. I like this workout in all seasons because I can actually burn some calories. If I try to walk with my children outside we have to stop like 500 times to look at bugs or see a dog or point at birds or tie our shoes or pick up leaves or wait for someone to catch up or … well, you get my drift.

I’ll list additional benefits to this break in future posts.

Things I still need to get better at, despite the Facebook break: folding the laundry faster, cleaning the kitchen after I cook, sorting through my closet and getting rid of old clothes I don’t wear anymore, consistently exercising, reading the Bible, and pondering my place in this world (which I don’t do because it sends me scurrying down the rabbit hole of thinking about how far off course my life seems from where I thought it would be by now.)

The bottom line is that so far I’m actually enjoying my time off Facebook. I’m missing knowing what’s going on with some people, but I can always catch up with them later and even call them to find out how they are.

Gasp!

I know!

Actually call someone?! Crazy!

At this point, I can’t imagine spending as much time on Facebook as I once did, even when I start signing in regularly again.

So, how about you? If you haven’t thought about a full-on, long Facebook detox, have you thought about reducing your time on it to accomplish some goals?

 

The 30-day Facebook detox challenge: Day 10

That’s right. I’ve been off Facebook for ten whole days and I’m still surviving. Indeed, I haven’t even missed the social media site that so many people rely on each day. 

So who challenged me to do this? 

It’s simply my own challenge to myself, which I decided on after first, I found myself more and more depressed and despondent after logging off the site and second, after I saw a video from some vloggers on YouTube (see video embedded at the bottom of the post) who did a full Internet break for 30 days. My brother and sister-in-law also take these 30-day breaks from time-to-time as well, but I won’t say he inspired me because then his head will be too big – again.

I chose Facebook over the full internet break because I knew it was my biggest time-suck, with Instagram right behind it. And I knew that by letting it suck me in I was distracting myself from a number of things I want to do with my life, including losing weight, studying the Bible more, learning more about photography, and writing more. While I’ve kept Instagram, because I enjoy interacting with other photographers, I’ve severely limited the time I’m on there as well.So here is the first of a series of posts about some of what being off Facebook has taught me, so far.

photo by Lisa R. Howeler (available at Lightstock.com).

That I used Facebook to distract me from the difficult aspects of my life and from the anxious, swirling thoughts I often have. In the past ten days I have been alone with my thoughts more times than I’d like and I’ve realized a few things: 1) I don’t like to think issues out because I find I sink keeper into depression when I can’t “fix” it all. 2) I would much rather be distracted by someone else’s drama than focus and address my own. 3) that I have been stuffing feelings of anger, rejection, disappointment and loss deep inside for years and hiding it under cute cat memes, political strife, and my own photography. 4) and maybe most importantly of all: my thoughts are really, really boring and many times make no sense, which is probably why I shouldn’t be sharing them on a blog. But, hey, if all those cable news channels can ramble their opinions at us all day long then I guess I can too. Ha.

 

That all those people on my “friends list” aren’t necessarily “friends” because in the ten days I have been off Facebook I’ve only heard from three people on that list and two of those people are family members. So, in fact, what this has taught me is that I am pretty much friendless even though Facebook says I have close to 200 of them. That’s actually been the one aspect of all this that has been hardest – beyond having to be alone with my thoughts so often – realizing I actually don’t have more than one close friend in my life at the moment and that none of my “friends” actually live anywhere near me. Ouch.

That if you aren’t on Facebook you pretty much don’t exist. This one goes hand-in-hand with the “fake friends” bit. If you aren’t on Facebook you aren’t “in the loop” and you aren’t invited to events. You’re also expected to already know what’s happening in the community, your church and the lives of your “friends” (who are really just people on your list) because they “updated on Facebook! Hello!”

This whole idea of anyone who isn’t on Facebook not existing is something I’ve actually known for awhile. I had backed way off personal updates on Facebook for a few months before I pulled the plug for this detox, or challenge, other than the auto shares of these blog posts to my business page. Since no one really reads my blog posts (not a complaint or a whine, just a fact, based on my stats), I really haven’t been sharing a ton of personal thoughts on Facebook.

I had someone tell me, shortly before I abandoned the big social media giant, that they didn’t know anything that was going on in my life because they couldn’t see my status updates. It was true they had been somehow hidden from seeing my updates but I actually hadn’t placed anything on Facebook about all the trials I had been facing and was asking them to pray about. I found their response to my request for prayer a bit odd actually. It seemed that without being able to see my status updates this person had no other way to gauge how I might be doing in my life or if I really needed prayer because apparently, in this modern age, we can only “communicate” by reading a status update. Mind you, we don’t often comment on those status updates that involve someone being in a trial. I mean, we go to social media to unwind, not deal with the problems of others. Get with the program, right?

The person I had messaged had, I guess, lost the ability to actually ask me what was going on, or how I was, because I hadn’t been on Facebook much lately and was slowly fading from existence. The person didn’t know they could message me on messenger, or text or – gasp! – call (who even does that anymore?!) and actually ask me how I was.

If I was slowly fading from existence then, I can only imagine I have completely faded now and am but a speck of nothing floating in the digital ether somewhere.

 

A few other lessons I am learning from being off Facebook, that I’ll expound on in a future post:

  • That there are a lot of great books out there.
  • That I need to get involved in activities with actual human beings more.
  • That my children are on digital devices way more than they should be.
  • That I enjoy exercise and it actually makes me feel better if I do it.
  • That I enjoy cooking and it actually makes me feel better when I take the time to do it right.
  • That reading God’s word can actually be interesting if I slow down and actually read it!
  • That we have too much information flying into our brains on a daily basis and there is simply no way we can process it all and I don’t believe God made us to do so.
  • That when people say “I’ll pray for you” on Facebook they usually don’t mean it. They don’t mean it in “real life” either but they really don’t mean it on Facebook.

What will come of this Facebook break? I’m not totally sure, but I’m excited to find out. I believe some of the changes will be positive and I believe I’ll learn more about living life offline and that doing so will be much more enriching than living it online.

Here is the video from Wheezy Waiter that helped inspire me to take the break.