A new study reveals that most users have taken extended sabbaticals from the site -- sometimes weeks at a time
Less than a week ago, Facebook made a stunning disclosure in its 10k annual report: teens might be finished with the social network altogether. “We believe,” the report’s authors noted glumly, “that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or a substitute for, Facebook.” A new study released Tuesday suggests the company’s problems go beyond the waning interest of its youngest demographic.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, as many as 61 percent of Facebook members have tuned out the website for weeks and sometimes months at a time. The reasons listed for these extended breaks are as banal as they are predictable: 21 percent of those surveyed “are too busy/don’t have time for it”; 10 percent “just aren’t interested/just don’t like it”; and another 10 percent simply think it’s a “waste of time.”
CNET’s Jennifer Van Grove has isolated some of the more biting — and comical — remarks of those polled:
- “I was tired of stupid comments.”
- “[I had] crazy friends. I did not want to be contacted.”
- “I took a break when it got boring.”
- “It was not getting me anywhere.”
- “Too much drama.”
- “People were [posting] what they had for dinner.”
- “It caused problems in my [romantic] relationship.”
The rest of the study’s findings are no less damning. Thirty-four percent of 30- to 49-year-olds claim their Facebook use has decreased over the course of a typical day; that number climbs to 42 percent for 18- to 29-year-olds. More telling, 38 percent of this age group insists that they plan to spend less time navigating the site in 2013.
The question now is whether investors will take note.
Jacob Sugarman is Salon's cover editor and the editor of Open Salon. You can follow him on twitter @jakesugarman. More Jacob Sugarman.
More Related Stories
- From global warming to fluoride: Why do people deny science?
- What does it really feel like to fall out of a building?
- Is the Environmental Defense Fund ruining environmentalism?
- Top 5 investigative videos of the week: "Winning" Afghanistan
- Guantánamo prisoner on hunger strike cries for help on Twitter
- DHS admits "impossible" to control 3D-printed guns
- 3 possible solutions to international tax avoidance
- Wikipedia's anti-Pagan crusade
- Could hackers destroy the U.S. power grid?
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- California judge cites "Star Trek," stuns copyright trolls
- Twitter beefs up security measures
- Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor's house
- Teenagers care more about online privacy than you think
- The Maker kids are alright
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- Cyber attacks could cause the next world war
- Snapchat is secretly storing your photos
- Apple's biggest sin: Popularity
- Facebook's hate speech problem
- Amazon set to launch fine-art gallery
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11