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Home » Community, Engagement, industry research, News, Social Media News

Drama? Malaise? No, the real reason users leave Facebook is because life simply gets in the way

Submitted by on February 7, 2013 – 9:09 amOne Comment

“I’m quitting Facebook!” We’ve all heard that at some point, perhaps even been guilty of it ourselves. In this day and age, dramatically announcing you’re planning on leaving Facebook is like threatening to run away – a bit attention seeking and possibly a cry for help.

Nonetheless, our use of the site is fluid, says a new report from the Pew Research Center. We’re not chained to it 24/7 as some analysts might believe, and instead take frequent ‘Facebook holidays’, often without even intending to.

According to the Center’s Internet and American Life Project:

  • 61% of Facebook users say they have voluntarily taken a break from the site for a period of several weeks or more.
  • 21% say this was the result of being too busy with other demands.
  • 10% pointed towards a general lack of interest in the site.
  • 10% claimed an ‘absence of compelling content’ was to blame.
  • Only 9% blamed excessive gossip and drama.
  • 8% felt they were spending too much time on the site.

However, there is evidence that Facebook’s demographic is simply shifting as its audience matures.

  • 20% of online adults who don’t use Facebook say they used to, but no longer.
  • 28% of users say Facebook is less important to them than it was a year ago.
  • 34% say they spend less time on Facebook than they did a year ago.

Could it be that the generation that embraced Facebook in its newness and novelty is simply outgrowing the site?

One Comment »

  • CK says:

    “Could it be that the generation that embraced Facebook in its newness and novelty is simply outgrowing the site?”

    Yes, I feel like this question is true for me. I started using Facebook as a college freshman way back in 2004 when the site was brand new. Back then, it was a great way to be connected with friends on campus and look up that cute guy in your Com class. Fast forward a few years and it’s time to graduate college – friends are getting engaged, married, and oh, there’s the accidental pregnancy that your group of friends will not stop talking about. Facebook showed you the engagement rings close up, made you envious of your old roommate’s Vera Wang wedding dress, and presented the inner struggle for you to decide whether to “like” or not comment on your friend’s surprise pregnancy. Soon enough, friends were having planned babies, getting the job they had that “killer” interview for, and you finally took your European trip and plastered your Facebook wall with photos to prove it really happened.

    Where I am now – 9 years later……I’m married, have a full time job, a mortage, and a strong network of friends and family to lean on. Do I really need Facebook? Do I need to know that my old friend from high school (who I haven’t actually seen in person since we graduated) finally made blueberry muffins from scratch? I’m finally seeing that real friendships go beyond the cyber world. In fact, because of Facebook, I have never had any desire to contact my blueberry muffin high school friend because I thought of our relationship to be “good enough” in cyber space.

    Over-sharing, privacy, and addictive-ness are just a few of the other reasons why I finally decided to leave.The part I’ll miss the most? The ease of creating events/get-togethers. I’ve only been off Facebook for a couple weeks now, but I’ve learned my new motto when with old and new friends – “Hey, I’m not on Facebook, can I have your number?”

    So, my advice to anyone who is thinking about leaving the blue sea of fake reality….Do it and try something new. Maybe make some blueberry muffins from scratch and instead of sharing your creation in Cyber Space – share them with a new friend in person.

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