My own use of Facebook is pretty erratic. I swing between moments of great activity – uploading photos, linking to resources, messaging family and friends – and longer periods of complete lassitude when I do nothing at all with it. Facebook Fatigue – you just get tired of it after awhile. Too many other things to do and a growing consciousness that you may be becoming a bit stupid shooting rather inane comments up to a website and uploading photographs that only interest a minority of your already tiny base of ‘friends’ or linking to YouTube clips that tickle your nostalgic fancy and that nobody else gets. That’s how I go with it anyway. A love-tedium relationship that makes me a rather unreliable Facebook friend.
It’s interesting to read that Facebook Fatigue is now reaching down into the generation that provided its explosive growth and that there are signs of the lethargy spreading. Almost 20% of teenagers who open Facebook accounts abandon them. The reasons:
- 45% have lost interest
- 16% are leaving because their parents have joined
- 14% think “too many adults/older people” now use the social network
- 13% are concerned about their personal privacy
And earlier this year SearchEngineLand’s Danny Sullivan noticed a rising trend, with an up-tick in April, of searches looking for details on how to delete a Facebook account. This doesn’t mean that Facebook is dead. 78% of teens open an account on Facebook and 69% of these remain active. However, it does point to a shift in attitude from Facebook’s early ‘social messiah’ days when both the press and its users saw Facebook as being the platform for a revolution in social communication. Hasn’t really happened. What may happen as the hype settles is that people will become less interested in just being heard (and I can attest that it can be a great tool during lonely moments) and start to think more about what they say. If 45% of teenagers that abandon Facebook say it is due to a lack of interest there must be incredibly little of interest in there.