Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bye-bye Facebook - “Delete My Account”

facebook delete my account

About a year ago, I posted this entry:

Well, guess what? Not long after that, I logged back in again and my account was automatically reactivated. Between then and now, I deactivated my account once or twice more when I felt like it was too much of a distraction. Today, I’ve decided to make it permanent.

Did you know that you can delete your FB account permanently if you wanted to? Just follow this link:

Once you have submitted your request, your account will be deleted within 14 days. Should you change your mind within this period, you can log back in again with your registered email and password and cancel the request.

I do not remember when I signed onto Facebook. Think it was about 2 years ago. Maybe 3? *shrug* Not important. But I do know I signed up because my friends whom I go hiking with were all sharing photos on FB and they persuaded me to create an account so that I too can share photos as well as view, tag and comment on theirs.

I also managed to find a few long lost friends on FB; people whom I used to work with years ago, ex schoolmates and university friends… but most they did was to add me, say “hey, long time no see!!” then disappear again like we never reconnected. LOL But of course, there were also a few long lost friends whom I continued to interact with regularly but those friends I do not need FB to keep in touch with.

I must say I liked FB. I liked how I was able to stay up to date with friends, real life friends, not “fb” friends! I could shoot off a quick message to friends in a private group, update my status and let all friends know what I was up to and get everyone together for a dinner party or pot luck with just a few clicks. I also liked how I was able to meet new friends through existing ones and interact with cool people from all walks of life from all over the world. People whom I shared the same interests and hobbies with. It was a wonderfully new experience for me.

Till it started usurping every little bit of free time I had. Worse, it started eating up my work time too. Time I set aside to finish my articles, just take a look at my blog, it’s been abandoned for a while now! Used to update it frequently, now it’s just one photo a week, or an entry a month… sometimes nothing at all for weeks.

It’s not that I was away from the Internet, it’s because I’ve been posting to FB instead. Initially, I often would make double entries and upload two sets of photos to the internet, once to FB and another time to this blog. This was because I would upload only a handful of selected photos to my public blog but a few hundred to friends-only albums on FB. This took a lot of my time and eventually, this blog just got less and less attention…

Before FB, I was meeting new people through my Flickr account. I’d post photos and I’d get comments from people everywhere. People with the same interests in plants, orchids, nepenthes. The botany community on Flickr is huge! Met some nice people this way, some of whom have become my friends in real life as well. But once FB took over, I’ve not been keeping in touch with the Flickr community anymore. Haven’t posted much there either and I have tens of thousands of photos uploaded there (not accessible anymore cause my Flickr account’s expired).

It also struck me just how much FB was changing the way friends interact with each other when on a recent trip, all of us were updating our status messages and getting notified about what each other had typed even though we were right there next to each other! LOL

And have you noticed how your real life FB friends, when you go makan or limteh together, they’re always on FB doing something? LOL I was sitting right across another friend recently having breakfast and instead of chatting normally, we were both looking at our touch screen phones and tapping away, smiling to nobody like a couple of crazies. But almost everyone with a touch screen smartphone does that now, have you noticed? ha-ha it’s quite funny really.

I notified my friends just so they know I was leaving voluntarily, not cause I was banned or kicked off. Some friends did that in the past (leave FB) without warning us and we were all left wondering what happened to them.

Already, I’m feeling quite liberated… like I've been unshackled. Har har. I prepared a “bye bye FB” message before I signed off permanently - “Goodbye Facebook (but not goodbye friends!). FB was like a demon which had its claws sunk into me but now I’ve thrown it back into the fiery flames of hell.” ha-ha but I decided it was too dramatic and didn’t post it. Besides, it’s not like the message would still be visible once I hit the “delete” button. ;)

By the way, in case you’re wondering, yes, I am on Google+. It’s still very new and going through growing pains so I don’t log into it much. But I don’t think of it as another FB-like social network. If you use Gmail, you’ll be quite familiar with the email chat feature, right? I like the “circles” feature on G+ which allows me to stay in touch with friends almost the same way we did with group email. So, rather than “another FB”, I see G+ as an extension to Gmail and Picasa, both of which I already use regularly.

So ya, I’m now off FB. So hopefully I’ll be posting a lot more to this blog now and give it the attention I used to give it. The friends I have, those that matter, I shall continue to keep in touch with the same way we kept in touch with before we all got onto Facebook. Good ol’ phone calls, emails and text messages (and Google+) :)

Update: Well, I’ve received confirmation from Zynga that if I permanently delete my FB account, my high level Farmville account will be permanently deleted too. That bites! I don’t mind never being able to retrieve my FB account again once deleted but I do mind losing my high level farmville account (even though I do not intend to play regularly). So until Zynga lets users access their accounts independent of FB, I shall have to keep my FB account. I’ve already emptied it. It’s got nothing on it, not even a profile photo. Only a few farmville neighbours remain.


CiXeL said...

I can fully understand your reasons for leaving. It IS a time sink.

sarawaklens said...

thanks, Chris. actually i was delaying hitting that submit button cos i wanted to download my info, photos etc first. but then, i thought, i already HAVE all those photos haha, so why wait. then i started deleting the albums one by one and that got really tedious so i hope all my photos will be deleted too when the account is permanently removed from fb. i doubt it though, fb admits to retaining bits of our info on their servers even after we quit.

vinesandspines said...

well as i'm sure youve heard by now the stalker window in facebook debuted in the states and was met with pure anger. ive had tons of people adding me on G+. hope you're doing well.

sarawaklens said...

@vines, hey, new blogger/google account? ahhh the stalker window! i know about that one very well. my account was one of the first few to get it and it drove me nuts. see what i mean, fb never listens, they just do things any which way they like!

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