TL;DR: I’ve just deleted my Facebook account, and you should think about it as well.
I removed my Facebook application from my mobile device about a year ago.
Back then, I had a very bad habit in regards to how I managed my professional email. Lot of discussions and topics were going on via email (pre-Slack times :)), and I was checking it from my mobile as soon as I had the minimum spare time: waiting for the metro, having breakfast, walking… and more problematic: right before going to sleep and right after waking up.
Shay explains in this post how difficult breaking a bad habit is. In my case, for breaking my toxic habit I decided to remove my professional email account from my mobile before going on holidays, and more importantly, don’t reconfigure it when I got back to work. That was my personal deal and I succeeded on keeping it. At the beginning I was feeling bad and taking it as an unprofessional behavior. I just needed to realize that nobody is getting paid just by managing emails from a specific device, so eventually I felt ok and I never reconfigured it again on my mobile.
Fast forward some months, same thing was happening with Facebook (I was checking Facebook as soon as I had 30 seconds). Now that I already knew the solution, I just removed the application.
This was before the first of a series of scandals related to Facebook data usage.
Since then, I’ve accessed Facebook via the web interface only from time to time (maybe once every three months). During these months, the only functionality I’ve kept using is the friends’ birthdays reminder (automatic email sent by Facebook).
Last news about the social network have acted as the required trigger for me to delete my Facebook account. If you’re interested in how Facebook online advertising business works and their usage in regards to personal information, I recommend this post by Daniel Coloma.
So next step for me was deleting my Facebook account. This article by New York Times describes pretty well how to do it. #DeleteFacebook movement has been around for some time, and even Brian Actor, WhatsApp cofounder, stepped in to it some months ago.
I downloaded my Facebook personal data in JSON format instead of HTML, so it’s easier to work with it in case I need to.
Some points about the downloaded data:
- it’s very well organized by functionality in separated folders.
- it provides accurate data about when things happened in your social network.
- some folders contain a file with invalid JSON format, as it contains a file with content You have no data in this section but without double quotes, hence it’s not a valid JSON string field.
- it misses relevant information for me, like birthday events.
In case you also want to download your friends’ birthdays information, just follow these steps.
Bye bye Facebook. You were great in the past and hopefully you will seek and find another way to make business, so you can be trustworthy again.