The problem with Facebook? It’s sticky.
With the current political upheavals and accordant wailing and gnashing of teeth on The Facebooks, both Dagmar and myself have decided to deactivate our accounts for a while in order to catch our breath a little, gird our loins, wait for the dust to settle, regroup, etc. What I wasn’t prepared for was how difficult it is to temporarily leave Facebook… Not because of the constant temptation to log in and peek at what’s happening, but because Facebook itself makes it hard to back away.
If a person chooses to, they can “deactivate” their account temporarily. That means they won’t show up on FB any longer, people won’t be able to see their timelines, etc. So it’s a good way to let people know, “Hey, I’m not here for a while, please don’t post anything on my timeline ’cause I won’t see it.” The moment you log back in, your account is automatically restored in all it’s glory and you’re back in business. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Except it’s not.
When I tried to deactivate my account it let me go through all the steps (“Why are you leaving? Have you considered just unfriending people? Maybe you can just log out for a day or two, have you thought of that?”), then gave me an error notice. “We can’t let you deactivate your account because you’re the Admin of these pages…” with a list of all the pages I’ve been party to over the years. I was quite surprised at how many different groups had made me an Admin to be honest. So I deleted some of the pages that I’d forgotten about and picked a friend to be Admin of a few other pages and tried to deactivate my account again.
And again, I had to go through all the steps, answer all the questions, and push all the buttons only to be presented with another error notice. “We can’t let you deactivate your account because you’re the sole developer of these Apps…” with a list of Apps that I’d been associated with.
This surprised me. I had no idea I’d been creating “Apps.” But whenever a customer would ask to have their Facebook feed listed on their website, you have to have a snippet of custom code, which they call an “App.” So if I deactivate my account, I have to delete all those little Apps, and all my web design customers who have FB feeds on their websites would be upset.
So I deleted a few Apps that weren’t active any longer and more-or-less randomly chose someone I trusted to be a contact on the Apps that were left, and tried once more to deactivate my account.
By this time I’ve got several hours time invested in this whole “deactivation” thing. So I was upset when once more I received an error message… Facebook STILL won’t let me go.
So as far as I know, my Facebook wall is still there, plugging away, and people are still there, commenting and leaving me messages I won’t see for days or weeks… And there’s not much I can do about it.