So you’ve decided to dump Facebook.
But you’re worried. Worried about missing out, struggling to stay connected, or getting left behind by the almost 2 billion users on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s platform.
It has never before been easier to completely remove Facebook from your life — not missing a single social beat in the process. And when you finally do, you’ll wonder what took you so long in the first place.
First things first: Hitting "delete"
OK, if you’re going to live without Facebook your first step should be actually deleting your account. Thankfully, it’s not that tricky.
Kick off the liberating process by logging into your Facebook account. Savor the knowledge that this will be the last time you ever need to do this.
Next, instead of navigating your way through a bunch of random menus, simply drop www.facebook.com/help/delete_account into your address bar (or just click the hyperlink). Select "Delete My Account," follow the steps, and you’re good to go.
Wasn’t that easy?
Your social life after Facebook
So you’re free. What next?
This is where it gets interesting. Zuckerberg likes to talk about making the world "a more open and connected place," and if Facebook does indeed do that, then deleting your Facebook account might theoretically make your personal world less open and less connected.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, a Facebook-free life has the potential to be just the opposite. Sure, you may not be "friends" with two thousand people any more, but were you ever really in the first place?
After all, just because your old online social network was wide doesn’t mean it was deep.
Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Zuck, exiting the stage of your life.
Dropping Facebook gives you the time and space to actually go plumb those relationship depths. No more checking up on an old friend by doing a quick profile flyby. Instead, if you want to know how the birth of their first-born child went, you’ll ask them directly. And they’ll respond.
It’s a wonderfully quaint idea.
Still not convinced you won’t be missing out? Here’s how the first few days of your Facebook-free life will go down: A friend or family member will try to scope on your vacation pics or invite you to an event on Facebook. They will, of course, not be able to find your account.
What happens next is magical. That same friend or family member will hit you up directly.
Because, remember, you haven’t given up technology — no one is suggesting you invest in carrier pigeons — rather just Facebook. That means your loved ones can still call, text, email, or use any other number of methods to get in touch.
It will be the same when you want to reach out to your friends. You’ll text or email (or whatever), and they’ll get back to you in the same way.
I promise, it will be fun. Before you know it, you may even start scheduling hangouts to catch up and chat in person. And you will have arranged it all without Facebook.
But what about the news?
A 2016 Pew Research Center study found that 44 percent of U.S. adults get at least some news from Facebook. Cutting this source of information out of Americans’ lives would be detrimental, right? Well, maybe.
The thing is, Facebook is rife with intentionally misleading stories masquerading as news. Zuckerberg is admittedly trying to combat so-called "fake news," but in all likelihood the problem is not going away any time soon. However, that problem can disappear for you personally just as soon as you walk away from your account.
As a bonus, you won’t have to argue with that random relative who keeps posting nutty conspiracy theories and tagging you.
Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Deleting Facebook does not equal putting your head in the sand — you’ll stay engaged with the world even without the ‘Book. Once you’ve clicked "delete," there are any number of ways to follow current events that don’t involve you generating ad revenue for young men in Macedonia.
Try following trustworthy news organizations on Twitter, or simply visiting their websites directly. In doing so you will have both helped to stem the tide of fake news and supported journalism.
It’s a chore
While abandoning Facebook may sound like a pain, take a moment to think about how much time you spend on the service every day. It’s probably not a small amount. A 2016 Pew Research Center Study found that 55 percent of Facebook users visit the site several times a day, and 76 percent visit at least daily.
Remember that all your time on Facebook is not exclusively spent looking at photos of your friends and family living it up. You’re probably idling away the hours getting your privacy settings right for each and every post, navigating the increasingly confusing platform, and trying to figure out what is and isn’t fake news.
Facebook is a chore, in other words, and one that you don’t have to do. Because living a post-Facebook life is easy. We promise.