Quit Facebook without Quitting

September 24, 2011, By Christian Cawley

You might not have noticed, but Facebook is becoming a little passé. With the older generation of silver surfers embracing the network and younger users becoming bored almost as quickly as Facebook themselves seem to be, more and more people are giving up, either deleting their profiles completely or just not bothering with the service.

After all, most of us know where the people we care about most are; we see them regularly and don’t really have the time to waste on sharing photos, video clips and a poor taste in jokes with people we’re not that bothered about seeing regularly.

Quit Facebook without Quitting

Of course, Facebook makes it very difficult to quit. Over the years you might have connected dozens if not hundreds of external services to your Facebook login, and you might even use the service for promotional purposes, such as a presence for a website or event that you are planning.

So what can you do to quit Facebook, or at least put it to bed for a while?

How to Quit Facebook

Putting Facebook out with the trash, as it were, is more akin to recycling than waste disposal – you might just end up with it back again. To delete an account you must first disconnect all Facebook Connect services. This might take some time, and you will need to create an alternative method of signing into these websites/services.

Next, go to the Facebook account deletion page and follow the steps there to close your account. There are a few hoops to jump through, and you will need to avoid signing into Facebook again for at least 14 days (better make it a month, just to be on the safe side). Once you’ve done this, the data should have been deleted.

The alternative is deactivating your account, which means that all of your data will still be there should you wish to return to Facebook. Choosing this option isn’t great, really, unless you’re perhaps going on holiday and have every intention of returning to the popular social network.

However, there are plenty of reasons not to do this.

Keep It Open But Don’t Use It

If you require your Facebook account for any particular reason – such as marketing or community building around a website – you might like to keep your account open but avoid logging into it. This can be tricky, however, and if you’re prone to procrastination the time spent browsing the endless nihilistic posts could have a big impact on what you’re supposed to be doing.

One way of not logging into Facebook is to change your password to something that you will never remember. While you will be able to change this simply by completing a lost password form, hopefully the time it takes to do this will put you off doing so.

To change your password in Facebook, go to Account Settings and use the change password option. One clever way to change to a password that you will not remember is to open Notepad, look away from your keyboard and type 8-16 random characters. Without looking at your screen, hit CTRL+A to select and CTRL+X to cut, and then close Notepad.

Back on the web page change password form, click into the new password box and press CTRL+V, and again in the confirmation box. You should then confirm the change, and then logout, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be able to easily log back into Facebook!

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