Why Are People Taking Lengthy Breaks From Social Networks?

taking a break from facebookAre people starting to fall out of love with social networks? Judging by the numbers of people continuing to sign up to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, the answer is no. However, people are finding it necessary to take a break from social networks, with some logging off for weeks at a time.

According to a survey carried out in the US by Pew Research Center, 69% of online American adults belong to a social network, and 67% of online American adults are Facebook users. On the whole, there has been a 20% increase in the number of adults using some kind on social networking site since 2009.

However, the report also found that 61% of Facebook users in the US had taken a break lasting at least several weeks from the social network. The reasons were varied, but only 4% said that privacy was a factor. This may be a surprise to some, given how vocal people can be about their data supposedly being used by Facebook, with seemingly every rumour of a privacy change being met with a raft of status updates declaring that people will abandon ship as a result of it.

But interestingly enough, the most common reason for people taking a break was that they are just simply too busy. 20% said that they did not have the time to log on, which begs the question, are social networks killing themselves? Around of third of people in the survey said that Facebook is less important to them now that it was a year ago, and 34% say that they spend less time on it than they did a year ago.

There are now more networks than ever for us to keep track of, and the type of content we view appears to be going through a paradigm shift with the number of sponsored posts people seeing in their feeds taking away from the enjoyment derived from seeing their friend’s updates.

Has your experience of Facebook, or for that matter any other social network, seen a negative change in the last year? Tell us what turns you on or off about the networks you use in the comments below.


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