So you want to #DeleteFacebook? Good for you. Facebook’s rampant data collection efforts have gone unchecked for far too long—and have shed light on just how much social media platforms know about you.
But detaching from Facebook can be difficult if you’re reliant on its apps and features. How on earth are you supposed to stay in touch with your friends and family without Messenger? Or remember everyone’s birthdays?
Fortunately, there are alternative apps and features that are more secure, less clogged with sponsored content, and, well, just better than Facebook. Here are a few apps to get you started on your Facebook purge.
Use Signal for Messaging and Group Chats
Signal is a simple, private messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption to keep your messages secure. Simply designed, and open-sourced, Signal lets you message and call anyone in your contacts without charge and is available on most operating systems. Perhaps most importantly, the Signal app is free of ads and does not track you. Period.
It even gets a seal-of-approval from Edward Snowden!
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 2, 2015
Get your news from Feedly
Instead of being bombarded by news pre-sorted by Facebook (and Twitter and Google for that matter too), take control what you read with the Feedly app. Subscribe to whatever feeds catch your interest and sort them however you wish.
Don't want algorithms, whether on Facebook, Google, or Twitter, to dictate your reading? I highly recommend using an RSS reader where you can subscribe to almost any content you want and not have some overlord decide what you see. I use Feedly for the vast majority of my reading.
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) March 22, 2018
Eventbrite to replace Facebook events
To check for upcoming events, or to organize your own, have a look at Eventbrite, which functions similarly to Facebook’s Events page. Browse through events in your area (or around the world), or, if nothing is happening, make your own.
Letgo is great for Buying/Selling stuff online
If you want to find a new platform to buy and sell your stuff online (without having to resort to the minefield that is Craigslist), Letgo is an excellent alternative to Facebook’s Marketplace. Available on your iOS and Android, you can list your item, negotiate with local buyers, and meet them to collect your payment.
Try a good old fashioned Calendar for Birthday Reminders
Let’s be honest; you couldn’t care less about half the birthdays of the people you’re ‘friends’ with on Facebook. Clear the clutter and only save the names and birthdays of the friends and family you care about in your calendar or a calendar app.
Going forward: Don’t be afraid to use disinformation online
Facebook, Twitter, Google, and many other social media platforms ask for personal information that can be used to identify and target you—sometimes for adverts, and sometimes for something more sinister. Use a different email when signing up to use apps like the ones mentioned above, and attach a different name to the account.
As Privacy International founder Simon Davies told ExpressVPN earlier this month:
At a fundamental level, use disinformation. Never give anything away. Even on social networks don’t give away your real birth date, your location, or your real name.
Remember, if the product you’re using is free, then you are the product! Make it more difficult with disinformation—and have fun with it!