One cannot argue with the fact that social media has become an integral part of our lives, whether it is Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, the vast majority of us are active users of at least one of these platforms.

Apparently, some people feel that social platforms are pressing too hard on them and choose to take a voluntary break, a new survey from independent US think tank Pew Research Centre revealed. Figures suggest that nearly two-thirds of users have abandoned Facebook for at least a few weeks.

While the reasons for taking a break vary, the most commonly cited one is a lack of time, highlighted by 21% of users. However, 10% of people said that they just were not interested in the site and a similar proportion mentioned the lack of appealing content as a reason. Some 9% were driven away by “excessive drama from their friends,” whereas 8% were concerned that they were spending far too much time on Facebook and felt they needed a break. By contrast, just 4% have stopped using social media over privacy concerns and only 2% said they preferred face-to-face communication, the poll revealed.

Perhaps of biggest concern to Facebook will be the discovery that almost half of its users aged between 18 and 29 reported that they are now using the site less frequently than they used to. Still, 92% of users maintain their profile on Facebook and two-thirds estimate that the average time they spend on the site has not changed over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, one in five people who is not currently using Facebook used to be an active user but has abandoned the site long term. Of those who have never used the site, just 8% are willing to try it, the survey showed.

Ben Hollom

February 7, 2013