I deactivated my Facebook account on March 23. Here is my experience.
I continue to use messenger without any issues on my iPhone, but trying to use messenger on my computer via the browser eventually forces me to validate my identity with my Facebook account, which will implicitly reactivate my account. I had to consciously avoid doing this on many occasions. This means I can only use messenger on my mobile devices. This sucks.
During the deactivation period, I found using Instagram to be quite satisfying. I would say that a combination of Twitter and Instagram is a better fit for my social media needs than Facebook at the moment but it does have one severe drawback. When I find something of interest on the Internet, I cannot share links with Instagram at least not directly. I ended up sharing those thoughts with Twitter instead, but people on Twitter is not the same on Facebook. Also there are links within the Instagram App itself that will re-enable your Facebook account. I also had to consciously avoid those.
The other major difficulties is the use of my Facebook identity on other sites that I used, for example Strava and CBC, etc. disassociating these accounts from my Facebook account was annoying and most people will probably not tolerate it and simply reactivate their account. I did preserve through this process though and try to isolate my Facebook identity to just Facebook. However I have not found a way to separate Instagram entirely.
Facebook continues to send notifications via email even when you have your account deactivated. This includes messenger when you get a new message. Obviously clicking on these will eventually reactivate the account. Again I avoided doing this for about two weeks until this morning I inadvertently clicked on an email which brought me back to my Mobile Facebook Page. This automatically reactivated my account.
In summary, once you are a member of a social network, trying to leave the platform is extremely difficult. The combination of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook is a perfect trap that is difficult to escape from. You have to sever yourself entirely as an interactive Internet user to really do it. You can still consume from the Internet, but as soon as you like to engage you’ll find yourself being lured into the Facebook trap.
So I am back. I guess I am admitting that currently the benefits out weigh the risk.