An account can be permanently deleted by going to the Help Centre in Facebook… interesting tips provided here on how to protect your privacy on Facebook with the new controls, and how you can delete your account!
You know I’ve thought about it many times… committing Facebook suicide, as I have aptly called it. Why “suicide”? Well you know your virtual identity can continue to live after you die if you wish. I have made some postings on this before. This means that you need to make decisions on how/if your virtual identity will exist and the same applies with your real life.
Why would you want to delete your Facebook account? My reasons were that it was getting too complicated with the privacy settings, and one of ‘my friends’ were not as careful as myself in what is posted (some content was on the level of ‘adults only’) and their privacy settings were non-existent, so it didn’t look good if I was in their friend list, yet I didn’t have the heart to tell them that this was a problem for me.
Other friends of mine have had different reasons for wanting out on Facebook. They have for example, been in relationships that have extended into Facebook, and it complicated an already complicated break-up in their physical lives when they have joint friends, newsfeed that informs each other what they are up to without each other… this means that they have to stop being friends on Facebook, but still means that joint friends can leak information to each other. In nasty break-ups I even heard of cases whereby one partner deleted ‘friends’ that continued to be friends with his ‘ex’.
The other issue has been those that have setup Facebook accounts and mixed personal and professional friends.. this is especially sensitive if professional friends includes customers. One way of dealing with this which is what a friend of mine did was deactivate his account for about 6-12 months following a relationship break up and then ‘clean up’ his friends. This way he was able to remove many friends discretely without them missing him as his account had been out of the loop for quite some time.
So in the end I didn’t delete my Facebook account… and why? Well because I enjoy the social element. It keeps me in contact with my family, friends and some of my professional network that have become friends over the years. I never got into the snail-mail, letter writing thing ;-). I love sharing moments that I have with my daughter on Facebook, and it lets me share with my family that live in other countries to watch and be involved in my daughter growing up. I love seeing how different friends of mine use Facebook to communicate and share. There is so much good here, it has become a part of my lifestyle… so long as I can keep it private, and mine and my daughter’s personal life does not become commercialized. Is that asking too much?