On deleting Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp

Today, I deleted my Instagram account.

Well, that's too bad...

This is one step in a larger process of getting off Facebook and Google products altogether. Today's post focuses on Facebook, though Google will be addressed in the future.

This processes began several months ago as I deleted my Facebook account. It wasn't easy. Much like a drug, there was a weening process.

The first step was deleting the Facebook and Messenger apps from my phone. Though it was still possible to access them from my computer, this removed the inclination to check them throughout the day.

Step two was eliminating the impulse to check Facebook at all. Well, as it turns out, there's a plugin for that. News Feed Eradicator for Facebook replaces the Timeline with pleasant quotes about freedom and discipline. Since the account would eventually disappear, it was appropriate to delete all its activity. The Social Book Post Manager plugin automates the action of deleting everything in your activity log. Posts, photos, comments, likes – this plugin destroys it all.

I wanted to prepare friends and family needed for my upcoming desertion. I posted a single message on my timeline explaining I would soon leave Facebook and where they should reach me.

The hardest part was getting off Messenger as I still used it to speak with some friends and family. For several weeks, I encouraged those who are closest to me to install Signal, a secure messaging app. For others, exchanging phone numbers and emails was enough.

I was ready to delete Facebook. Done.

Today, the chapter step in the process was achieved, I deleted Instagram. Instagram is great in some respects but entirely toxic in others. It's a wonderful tool for amateur photographers to express their creativity. However, it has created a culture of attention seeking which I'm convinced will have devastating effects on the mental health of future generations.

Thanks to the export feature, and a bit of scripting, my photos now live here.

Coming up next: deleting  WhatsApp. This won't be easy.

Author

Sebastien Couture

Host at Epicenter, a podcast which explores the current state and potential future of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

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