A Year After I Permanently Deleted Facebook

And tried to return (for work)

Erik Marty van Mechelen
4 min readDec 18, 2019


“Regret for wasted time is more wasted time.”

Did you, like me, permanently delete your Facebook account last year? Why did you do it?

I asked myself this very question a few days ago. To my analytical yet generous mind, there is a distribution of reasoning.

These range from ideological to practical. From concerns of privacy to a desire to create free time to reallocate toward my updated medium-term goals, like learning to code at an amateur level and to grasp the history of money.

Since I subscribe to theories of mimetic desire, part of me feels as though I quit Facebook because other people were doing it, which in itself is not always by itself a good reason for doing anything (if you’ll allow me to understate my point).

I didn’t pause or suspend or disable my account: I permanently deleted it. Part of me feels that I permanently deleted it to prove to myself that I could. (When I played online poker, I occasionally entertained folding pocket aces pre-flop to demonstrate I could make a bad play, to illustrate that I–whatever “I” is–was in charge.)

A year later, what are the Pros and Cons of the decision?

Pros of Leaving Facebook Behind

More Free Time:
I do have additional time each day which I’ve reallocated to other activities. Note: This was part of my digital minimalism kick–to use digital technologies selectively, in other words, to choose those which amplify my velocity toward my goals.

More Attention:
Understanding one’s conscious attention is a detailed and complicated topic. To my way of thinking, understanding how one’s attention works is a private and personal activity. A journey that you have to take on your own. Even useful meditation apps like Waking Up will only get you part of the way.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees:
Take a moment to notice how this sentence affects you. That sentence wasn’t so emotionally resonant. Neither was that one. So what?, you might reactively ask. But that is the point. (For one thing, I’ve learned to…