Facebook, is a place for storing pictures, sharing videos and social interaction. Founded in 2004, the planet has become obsessed with Mark Zuckerburg’s invention. Facebook has created an ongoing conversation about privacy rights, how much the government should have access to our information and if Mark Zuckerburg is the master of information collection. All of these discussions, and more always begin or end on Facebook, the very platform of scrutiny. Critics agree however that Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So what about the great Facebook exodus we hear about? The truth is, according to Enders Analysis, people are not joining at the rates that they once did in the U.S. Basically, everyone who is going to be on Facebook has already joined. If you’re not one of the 1.23 Billion citizens of Facebook you may be a citizen of one of it’s islands, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Recently I ran into a former co-worker who proclaimed with pride that they have disconnected from the social network and how wonderful their life is now. They have more time to be with family, friends, and that life is just great, now that they are no longer on Facebook. They then began to share pictures of their new partner, on Instagram. With a private chuckle, I raved about the really nice family pictures. In another conversation with an acquaintance, she went on a 10 minute rant about the privacy issues of Facebook, and Google. A few weeks later I received an invite to her Pinterest page.
My point is, we are all online one way or the other, and as a person who has been observing online activity for well over 10 years and has even had my share of drama, I have learned that most people really don’t leave Facebook for the reasons they say. I have known only one person who declared their disdain for social media, that really, truly, seriously unplugged. I can only contact her on a landline and send her snail mail. Largely, people see Facebook as the big bad wolf of social media and proclaiming that they denounce the platform gives them a sense of real and in some cases, smug accomplishment. With further investigation or conversation the hidden reason why people truly unplug reveal themselves. Here are some of the REAL reasons people usually leave Facebook.
1. INFIDELITY: Usually when people announce they are going to be off Facebook for a while, it’s because they got busted. Their partner got into that account, found out about the online affair and the only way to work their way back to love is to deactivate their account. They usually return with loads of family pics, reinforcing the fact that they have the happiest family on planet Earth.
2. LACK OF ATTENTION: These people see that their geeky cousin post a funny article and it receives 50 likes, they post an article and the only like they get is their own. In real life these people probably are the life of the party but for some reason it does not translate online so after a while they just dwindle away. They return because people at work are talking and laughing about the funny video on their timeline. These folks usually come back as lurkers.
3. RELIGION/POLITICS: If you’re an online vet like me, these people may be your favorite. You can rely on them, every election cycle, to get really, really, super duper passionate about their candidate. They absolutely cannot believe family members, co-workers, and friends are actually, atheist, gay, opposite party, and have opinions of their very own! These people thought that the 1,256 friends they had, ALL held the exact same views they held. They go on a delete binge. Then they deactivate because you can’t delete EVERYONE. These people usually return about 30 days after the election.
4. DATING: You have met the person of your dreams. You have so much in common, selfies of the two of you abound. You’ve actually changed your relationship status – a huge online statement. The only problem is the person you’re dating had no idea you guys were exclusive until they get the message that they have been tagged in your relationship change. They are so surprised to find out that they are now in a relationship with you they block you. Not before they leave a message on your page blasting you and letting your network know you just met a week ago. These people leave because of the drama. They return in 5 days because they ARE the drama.
5. GRASS IS GREENER SYNDROME: These are the folks who just don’t get that peoples lives are not perfect. For whatever reason these people think that everyone’s life is better than theirs. People simply post about the things they are doing at that moment. NOBODY is dong exciting things at every moment. This is why it’s important that we get off line, meet in person and create our own stories. Facebook is simply a sharing site about what is going on. So if you only go out once a month, that is fine! Share it! These people are my personal favorite because they don’t realize how awesome they are. These folks usually take a bit of a break but they do stay!
Now don’t get me wrong, I know people leave for actual reasons, life is busy, school, family, and travel. I’m not referring to these folks, nor am I saying Facebook HAS to be a part of your life. I’m noting the group of folks who are not being truthful about why they are REALLY leaving Facebook and how they try to make the rest of us who actually LIKE the network feel like we are wasting our time. We enjoy the network and while we also have our issues with it, we aren’t going anywhere. We have the discipline to log off and get chores and projects completed. We are faithful to our partners and we completely understand that our network has diverse interest and life philosophies. We don’t share to get likes, we share to curate information that we find interesting and if it gets likes that’s cool too. Most important we realize that life happens BEYOND the keyboard and nobody s life is perfect, no matter how hard they try to get us to think it is.
Do you know anyone who has left Facebook and makes a big deal about it? If so, share your thoughts below!