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29th August 2023 · The Clay Team

What you need to consider before you delete Facebook – and how to delete Facebook

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Ready to say goodbye to Facebook by permanently deleting it? Make sure you consider these important factors before hitting delete. Our guide will help you through the process.

Facebook is the most successful and popular social network of all time. But, there are a number of reasons you might want to delete your Facebook account – for example, you might be concerned about the security of your data. Or maybe you’re tired of seeing sensationalized news articles and ads instead of updates from your friends and family. Perhaps you find that Facebook hasn’t really helped you develop deeper relationships or stay in touch with the people that really matter to you. At Clay, we certainly understand these reasons to delete Facebook. In fact, we’re building an alternative way to deepen your relationships and stay in touch. However, deleting your Facebook account certainly has consequences and ramifications. Before you make a final decision, there are a few key things to consider.

1. You won't be able to access your photos, videos, posts, and more, so make sure to download them before you delete your account

When you permanently delete your account, your photos, videos, profile, posts, and more will also be permanently deleted (which is why we recommend backing them up – more on that below). This is extremely significant, as you’ve likely had a Facebook account for years, and it’s highly probable that there are photos, videos, and posts on Facebook that you've published to Facebook but that you don’t have backed up in other places. Since Facebook was a core part of your digital life for a long time, you likely published things to Facebook that you didn’t add elsewhere since you expected to keep using Facebook for the foreseeable future. Luckily, Facebook offers a way to download all your information onto your computer before you delete your account. We’ll cover that below.

If you just want to try living without Facebook for a while, you can try temporarily deactivating your Facebook account. You can learn more about temporarily deactivating your Facebook in this article. Even after you've temporarily deactivated your Facebook, you can easily turn it back on.

2. You won’t get as many proactive updates from friends and family – and you may lose touch with people more easily

Even though Facebook can often be information overload – with ads, videos, news stories, etc – it does serve as an important way to receive life updates from people that matter to you. You may forget to reach out to your cousin for a few months, but then you see a picture on Facebook of their graduation party. The photo prompts you to catch up with your cousin. Or, maybe you aren’t great at keeping up with former coworkers, but Facebook helps you see that a former boss just moved back to Chicago. You then reach out and have a great coffee chat.

Facebook can be really great at keeping us up to date on relationships that matter to us, but that we sometimes forget to nurture via a phone call, text, or meet-up. And, Facebook does this proactively and automatically – you get a constant stream of life updates that keep you in the loop. Of course, there is a downside to this feature, too. You get a lot of life updates from people you don’t know very well anymore or don’t care to stay in touch with!

Regardless, after you delete Facebook, you’ll need to proactively work to stay up to date on what some of your friends and family are up to. You may find that you feel out of the loop on certain relationships that you previously stayed informed on via Facebook.

3. Without Facebook Messenger, you may have a hard time getting in touch with or messaging some people

Facebook Messenger is one of the most important services of Facebook, and it can be a critical way to get in touch with someone for whom you don’t have an email or phone number. And this isn’t just the case with acquaintances – there are likely people you are close to who you have Facebook accounts for, but not emails! Maybe you had the email addresses of some friends in your old work email system, but you didn’t save them when you left, for example. Messenger may be the only way for you to get in touch with them because it's been serving as your informal contacts database! Before you permanently delete your Facebook account, be sure to make sure you have alternate contact information for people you want to contact later.

If you decide to delete your account, remember to download your details!

If you’ve read this far and you’ve decided to delete your account, congratulations! You’ve weighed the pros and cons, and you are about to make an informed and thoughtful decision. Before you delete your Facebook account, it’s important to download any data you may want to keep. This includes your friends, photos, and any other information you have shared on the platform. Thankfully, Facebook allows you to download your data to your computer easily.

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of the homepage
  2. Click Settings & Privacy
  3. Choose Data Privacy on the Left
  4. Select Get a copy of your data
  5. Select the specific type of data you’d like and click Request archive

Once you have downloaded your data, you can delete your account with peace of mind knowing that you have a copy of any important information.

Easily backup your Facebook friends with Clay

At Clay, we offer an additional easy technology to back up your friends into beautiful profiles with a single click – we’ll even keep certain details updated over time, even though you no longer have a Facebook account! Join Clay to back up your friends before you delete your account. We still recommend you download all your details, too, in order to maintain a full record of your Facebook activities and account.

Step by step on how to delete your account:

  1. Click your profile picture in Facebook
  2. Click Settings & Privacy and then click Settings
  3. Click Your Facebook Information
  4. Select Deactivation and Deletion
  5. Click Delete Account, then select Continue to account deletion.
  6. Enter your reasoning for closing your account
  7. Choose Delete Account, input your password and then select Continue.

You’ve now deleted Facebook, and you’re ready to move into your next era of deepening relationships!

What Happens to Your Data?

When you delete your Facebook account, Facebook deletes your status updates, photos, and everything you've created, although they do keep copies of some of that data for an undefined period of time (up to several months). Even after all of that data is deleted, Facebook still retains anonymized data about your activity on the platform (the fact that you clicked on a group or commented on a page). You can learn more about what happens to your data here.

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