What's that mean?
Facebook accounts can be deactivated, removing your profile page, photos and messages from the social networking site. For most, it's a temporary move to make the site less of a distraction for a time.
Why is it popular?
Facebook can be a big time waster, so getting rid of it for a while can be a big help — especially for students studying for final exams or working on projects.
“Facebook is one of those things that everyone checks multiple times a day. I'm definitely more productive when I'm not on it,” said Jessi Agnew, 22, a first-year law student at Creighton University. “When you get on there, it's definitely one of those things where you don't realize how long you're on it.”
Agnew has deactivated her account to write papers and once gave it up during Lent. Several of her friends have deactivated their accounts while studying for finals.
“Now that I'm in finals, I don't get on it as much as I did. But I do still check it every once in a while,” Agnew said. “It's really hard.”
What's the catch?
Since a lot of folks use Facebook, especially college students, deactivating your account might have you feeling a little disconnected from friends.
“For me, the biggest shock was when I would meet someone and they would say, ‘I'll Facebook you.' When I told them I didn't have it, they looked at me like I was crazy. And they would blow me off,” Agnew said. “I wouldn't know about events going on and I would find out last minute. When you don't have it, you're kind of out of the loop.”
How do you do it?
Under “Account Settings,” there is an option to deactivate your account at the bottom of the page.
Facebook doesn't want you to deactivate, so it will show you pictures of you and your friends with messages stating — this is not a joke — that your friends will miss you.
Facebook also wants to know why you're deactivating. Choosing some options (such as “I spend too much time on Facebook” or “I have a privacy concern”) will get Facebook to further try to dissuade you.
Once you click the “Deactivate My Account” button at the bottom, you're all done.
How do you reactivate?
When you're ready to reactivate your account, go to www.facebook.com and enter your e-mail and password. When you log back in, all of your settings, photos, groups and everything else will be restored.