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Quitting Facebook

Some people resist joining Facebook precisely because of the popular misconception that once you set up a Facebook profile, you can never remove your information. I have one friend who starts singing the lyrics from “Hotel California” (you can check out any time you like/but you can never leave) anytime the word Facebook is mentioned.

So in case you’re afraid of being assigned a permanent residence at the Hotel Facebook (and having an Eagles song stuck in your head for all eternity), I’m going to tell you exactly how to pack up and leave Facebook if you ever decide you need to.

There are two ways to leave Facebook:

  1. Deactivating temporarily. If you choose this option, you’ll vanish from Facebook for the time being, but the door will be open if you want to come back at some point in the future.

    To temporarily deactivate your Facebook account: Go to Account > Account Settings and click the Deactivate link. Fill out the form letting Facebook know why you’re deactivating, and then click the Deactivate button to confirm.
  2. Permanently deleting your account. If you choose this option, you’ll be submitting a request to Facebook to permanently remove your profile from Facebook. This step is not reversible (that’s why it’s called “permanent”).

    To erase your Facebook account forever, click Help in the footer and then type Delete in the Help Center’s search field. Click “How do I permanently delete my account?” on the results page, read the instructions, and click the link to the Delete Account form.
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