Ever since Facebook entered the market back in 2004 and made its way into the stock market in 2012, the social networking company now boasts of more than 1.65 billion monthly active users. It has lived up to the promise of connecting friends and acquaintances, and in sharing bits and pieces of one's life. But what if a user wants to permanently opt out of it? It may appear hard but it is definitely possible to delete one's Facebook account.
Some people have chosen to delete their accounts even after years of using it. Kim Shandrow of Entrepreneur Magazine decided to delete her account because Facebook makes her feel unhappy, looking at "people in their news feed (who) are happier, more successful and better." It has also made her slack off work, spending more time on Facebook than focusing on tasks at hand.
One study in Denmark confirms what Shandrow has been feeling. Based on a survey conducted by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, going off Facebook appears to reduce stress levels by as much as 55%, and "people on Facebook are 39% more likely to feel less happy than their friends."
So how does one delete their Facebook account? Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Back up all data: It is important to back up all data before deleting an account. Click the downward arrow at the top right of the Facebook page > Settings > Go to link at the bottom of the page with "Download a copy of your Facebook data." > Click on "Download a copy of your Facebook data."
2. Request for account deletion: Once back up is complete, go to: https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account > Click "Delete my account" > Follow steps as guided by the page wizard.
3. Wait: Once request for deleting account is complete, wait for up to 90 days as this is the allowance given by Facebook for account deletions. All data including photos, friends, and timeline updates will be deleted.
It is important to note that deleting an account is a once-off activity and there is no turning back. Should a user decide to put back the same account once deletion is complete after 90 days, it is not possible to retrieve and the user would have to put up a new account. If the user is not yet sure and would want to be out of Facebook only temporarily, he/she may opt to disable the account instead of deleting it.