How can I delete Facebook when it has all my memories and photographs?
Deleting Facebook sounds like a great idea right now.
Many of us who use the site regularly are probably questioning whether to cut the cord after news broke that data was leaked from more than 50 million profiles.
A lot of people already have according to the #DeleteFacebook movement on Twitter.
It certainly bring into question how much we have willingly and obliviously shared on the site after British firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Leave campaign, were accused of harvesting personal data without users’ consent.
An investigation found company bosses boasting of using personal data to sway elections while Chris Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, told Channel 4 News the grab had been carried out on more than 50 million profiles.
It is claimed researchers built personality and psychological profiles on millions of users after offering a small amount of money to complete a survey, on the condition they consented to share personal details through Facebook.
Allegedly, Cambridge Analytica could then tailor specific political adverts to small groups of people, already knowing what their likes and interests were.
Over on Twitter, #DeleteFacebook has been trending all today and the swell of voices claiming to have already done so and are now enjoying a life free from the anxiety social media brings is very tempting.
But something stops me.
Having been on the site for over a decade, when my son was a toddler and my daughter wasn’t even born, it has all of my special memories stored in one place.
It speaks volumes that I have a couple of IRL photo albums of my son who was born before I signed up but my daughter, born several years later, has just one.
Like most parents I know, all my photographs and many videos are uploaded onto Facebook – holidays, ‘firsts’, days out, just messing about at home – pictures that I wouldn’t even necessarily have taken or printed out if I just had a digital camera and a photo book.
There are apps which will save them down for you.
But what about the status updates?
Facebook was where I announced my second pregnancy, my engagement, wedding day, milestones my children reached.
And Facebook knows how valuable this information is to make us stay.
Every day they send an On This Day message which shows the pictures and statuses you shared in previous years.
It is sad but I look forward to seeing these notifications each morning as a nostalgic look back (and sometimes a good cringe) over mine and my family’s life.
Or it shows you memories from a particular friend during a cute little video.
It’s nice like that, you see.
Or rather, Facebook knows it has us by the heart strings and I suddenly feel very stupid for letting it bamboozle me in this way.
I’ve willingly uploaded this stuff onto the site, not just data about me but about my family too.
And now I can’t lose it. I can’t let Facebook go.
I’ve let the app become so ingrained in my life that it is where plans are made, information is sought and life is recorded.
And there is no point in deleting Facebook, I guess, unless you are going to remove Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram too.
I tweeted about my feelings this morning and several people replied saying there are apps out there where you can download all your pictures which I will definitely be looking into.
This piece on how to make sure you Facebook data is private is also worth a read if you find yourself in the same predicament.
If you have deleted Facebook (or never signed up in the first place), I am in awe of you – I wish I had your willpower.
It was so easy to upload it all onto Facebook, but until someone can show me how to save it all down I feel lame admitting it but I don’t think I can bring myself to risk letting it all go.
But I will be thinking twice about sharing so much so readily on social media in the future.