Tying in well with my last article, ‘Can We Suffer from Facebook Depression?’, which explored the raising concerns of Facebook and depression, this time round I am focusing on the big question everyone seems to be asking themselves lately, is it finally time to pack up and leave Facebook?
As well documented in the film The Social Network, Facebook began as a humble social network within Harvard University in 2004, created by student Mark Zuckerberg. Fast forward 8 years, Facebook has become massive, with millions of active users, who just can’t get enough of the social network, or so it may seem. In an article from the Daily Mail, the newspaper reported that the site had lost 100,000 British users in the month of May back in 2011. Additionally, ‘Facebook fatigue’ didn’t just affect us Brits back in May; the newspaper also reported that around six million users in theUS logged off for good.
So is it inevitable that Facebook will have to get used to declining numbers of users? Surely Facebook is just another internet fad like MySpace? Remember how popular sites like Bebo and even MSN Messenger were, they were all huge back in their day but over the years lost more and more users, all thanks to Facebook. I know from personal use, from around 2006 when I first started using social networking sites, right up until the end of 2009, the amount of friends I had that stopped using Bebo and ‘moved to Facebook’ was startling. Back then I loved Bebo, until I found out what Facebook was, then it all changed. I remember way back in Year 9 also, all my friends used to arrange a certain time that we would all log onto MSN Messenger together and chat for hours. Not any more, no one I know uses MSN Messenger.
So, as websites like MySpace and Bebo, who all started off with growing numbers of users, survived for a good number of years before being declining and being overtaken by ‘the next big thing in social networking’, I believe this is now naturally happening to Facebook. I totally think Facebook’s biggest rival today is undoubtedly Twitter. The amount of people I know who now use Twitter more than Facebook is surprising. I asked a number of my friends why they no longer use Facebook as much as they used to, most of them said that Facebook has got boring, people are writing the same things day in day out, moaning about everything and the infamous layout changes. But what surprised me most from the feedback I received that young people are now more concerned about their privacy. Quite a lot of the people I spoke to all voiced their concerns over the sites privacy, Facebook has recently changed their privacy policies which not not gone down well with the users of the site which perhaps have lead to users deactivating their accounts. I can’t say I blame them, sometimes I do question my privacy on the site and the amount of information Facebook has about me stored in their databases and millions of other people.
I have deactivated my account in the past, but I couldn’t cope with being ‘starved from Facebook’, which usually led to me re-activating it after just 3 days. I have a love-hate relationship with the site, it’s like a drug. I hate it but I can’t stop logging in every day.
So what do you think? Are you getting sick of Facebook? Is it time to leave the site? Let me know what you think!