Are you over Facebook? If so, you're not alone, according to a new study conducted by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, which suggests that fatigue may be setting in for the social media platform's users.
According to the study, 61% of current users indicate they have voluntarily left from the site for a period of several weeks or more. One-in-5 online adults who do not currently go on Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so. Finally, 42% of Facebook users ages 18-29 and 34% of those ages 30-49 say that the time they spend on Facebook on a typical day has decreased over the last year. Methinks the top dogs at Facebook should be concerned about that.
One major reason for the change of heart, according to respondents, was not having enough time for the site, with 21% indicating they were too busy to read and respond to posts. Other reasons for leaving included believing Facebook to be a waste of time, a lack of interest in the content, a dislike toward the amount of drama and gossip on the site, and to a lesser extent, privacy and security concerns.
But is anyone really surprised by these findings?
Let's be real here: Back in the day, Facebook was a great way to stalk that hottie in your Intro to English Literature course. You could log onto the site, read a few profiles, and move on to studying for the chemistry final in less than 15 minutes. The only annoying thing you ever had to deal with was the occasional poke from a weirdo, but aside from that, it was a wonderfully passive way to briefly procrastinate.
Facebook has since transformed into this monstrosity of newsfeeds, likes, shares, and constant never-ending meaningless updates from our hundreds or even thousands of “friends.” Even for those users who only want to stay the least bit relevant in the world of social media, Facebook is a tedious chore.
In light of these findings, I think it’s time for a little Emily Post-style Facebook Etiquette 101. Here are a few tips on how not to annoy the crap out of your friends and force them to take a hiatus from Facebook:
1. Stop inviting your friends to play or check out an app. Notifications of game and app invites are the worst. Seriously, if it is that awesome, your friends will hear about it and sign up themselves without the need for an invite. Accidental invites are no excuse. Read the fine print before clicking “Accept.”
2. Don’t be so damned cryptic. Vague updates that require follow-up questions are a desperate cry for attention and just make you look passive-aggressive to boot.
3. Just say “no” to chain letters. OK, while technically not “chain letters,” those things you share on people’s timelines that ask them to click “like” if they want to beat cancer kind of suck. All they do is make people feel like tools if they click “like” and jerks if they ignore. It's not a win-win for anyone, not even cancer.
4. Less is more. Look, we get it. You think your life is super exciting and thrilling and that’s why you feel the need to post every single thing you do in every minute of each day. The truth is: your life is no more exciting than the rest of your friends’ lives. If it were, you probably wouldn’t be wasting your time on Facebook. So, to keep your friends engaged but not exhausted in your life, try limiting your updates, posts, shares, etc. to no more than three a day.
5. All of these rules apply to Twitter.
Please leave your own suggestions in the comments!