We’ve all had a few moments when we get so fed up with Facebook, that we consider canceling our accounts entirely. Maybe you’ve even gotten as far as the cancellation page before deciding that you’d probably regret it sometime down the road. Facebook knows we have a love/hate relationship with the social network, and if you think you can live without it, it’s officially calling your bluff.
The social network now has a feature that lets you cancel your account, but not really. After navigating to the Settings page and then the Security tab, selecting “Deactivate my account” brings up a form you can fill out prior to canceling your account. A new option is now highlighted on this page, called “Auto reactivate.”
By checking the box, you can select to have your account brought back to life anywhere from one to 28 days in the future. It’s almost like a dare: Facebook is betting that you not only will be back, but that it won’t take you any more than a month before you regret your decision.
It’s worth noting that deactivating your account doesn’t prevent your friends from interacting with your digital persona just as they always would—your silent account will still be invited to events and tagged in photos, for example—so it’s hard to say what the point of the feature is anyway.
Some things, like your name and avatar, will be removed from things you’ve shared in the past once you deactivate your account, but you’ll still appear on your friends’ lists and even your chat history will remain intact. Reactivating your account is as simple as logging back in, so the feature definitely doesn’t seem designed to help Facebook addicts cure their weaknesses in the first place, and now you can even set a timer to guess how quickly you’ll cave.
H/T MarketWatch | Illustration by Max Fleishman