Zbohom, Facebook (Breaking Up Is Hard, II)

When we say “good-bye” in English, it is usually just  temporary.  In Slovak, there is a special form of  farewell that means “good-bye forever” (also used as a respectful way of addressing seniors): “Zbohom” (literally ‘beyond God’). So let’s say that you have tried to remove your Facebook account by “deactivating” it (see my ”Breaking up, part I”), only to discover that all of your information remains behind, just where you left it, to pop up the next time you log in.

In fact, there is no self-directed way (that I know of) to remove your Facebook file without first doing the online equivalent of crying “help”!

So you visit the FB Help Center, and perhaps notice that the most commonly asked question is “How do I permanently delete my account?”  Clicking there, FB attempts to dissuade you from what it describes as “effectively disappear[ing] from the Facebook service.” Perhaps a more reasonable course to take would to “deactivate,” FB argues, but if you decide to disappear from the service, you should note that your account will be (and this FB underscores by writing in bold print) “permanently deleted with no option for recovery”.  You are informed that must again click to “submit a request . . .”

Which, if you make bold to do , . .

Results in a string of warnings: “You will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have provided.”  Undeterred, you again click “submit,” and FB ominously responds with the first of a series of  “Are you sure?” proceeding to ask you to verify your password and to supply two security code words.  If you are (still perversely) OK with that,  you click on “okay”. . . .

Only to find out that again your have merely “deactivated” your account, and that a permanent removal requires a 14 day waiting period!  You are reminded that you may cancel this process (so much for not being able to reactivate your account).  Still want to delete?  Fatalistically now, you tap “okay” yet again, at which point you are given a timeline for when your account will be deleted.  The timer has been engaged; you are scheduled for deletion.  FB repeats, “Are you sure?” giving you the option to cancel or confirm your deletion.  Swallowing gravely, you tap “confirm.”

At this point, if you can’t help but wonder what FB limbo looks like, you see what happens when you try to log back in to your account.  You are greeted with the reassurance that your account is (only) deactivated (e.g. momentarily covered), but scheduled for deletion.  More repercussions are described. If you do not stop this process, do you know you will lose your photos in addition to your account? (So much for not being able to retrieve any of your content or information you have provided)

FB’s final plead: “please log into Facebook before [XX/XX/XXXX]”; you will then remain connected.

Zbohom. . . Apparently, not translatable into FB.

See ya, FB.

(Thanks to my student Jody Reaves for bringing this process to my attention)