Why I Canceled My Facebook Account
May 2, 2010
I canceled my Facebook account because it was lowering my capacity for independent action. I joined Facebook under certain conceptions that it was a somewhat private place. It used to have a clean interface, especially compared to MySpace. And now it seems that there is something every month where they have started to sell or give more of my stuff to some company without my knowledge.
Facebook, used to be fun and cool, but a large part of what I have to do on Facebook now is adapt to their changes on their terms. This is unacceptable to me, especially when I don’t see the website adding significant benefits.
Now I wouldn’t have posted about this if a lot of people hadn’t asked me to, and if I had not been personally affected by Facebook’s actions. I was with my girlfriend and we were listening to Pandora. I look at my Pandora player, and there is my girlfriend’s face (supplied by Facebook) staring back at me with some information about her tastes. This would not have been a problem, except she opted out of that program.
We quickly learned you had to also ban each of the groups Facebook was sharing this data with, as well as hitting the opt-out checkbox.
This immediately congealed a sense of loathing for Facebook. It was a combination of their confusing interfaces, reneging on their former commitments, lack of privacy, and spammy newsfeeds. I decided that over the course of the next few days I would back-up my images and cancel my account. And now I have and it feels great.
What has amazed me about canceling my Facebook account is the amount of support people have given my decision. In the comments of a HackerNews post about how to cancel your Facebook account, I posted I was going to be canceling mine, and I thanked the person who posted the instructions. This simple comment generated a large amount of conversation and upvotes. I had expected my comment to fall to the bottom and be ignored, but there is a large group of people who are disgruntled and questioning whether they should use Facebook. I had no idea. I thought I was an outlier.
If you want to get rid of your Facebook account for whatever reason, here are some instructions on how to do it: