Many of us have thought about leaving Facebook, or actually gone through with it, swearing there’s no way we’ll be going back. But for some reason, a week or so later we find ourselves logging right back into that very FB account. Why? Because it has us under its spell, clearly.
Actually, there might be a bit more to why we find it so hard to end the relationship. You see, it’s kind of complicated. Sure, it has the potential to get us down, but there’s so many benefits, right? Well, new research out of the Cornell Universtity has revealed the very four reasons why breaking up with Facebook is so very, very hard:
1. Perceived addiction:
According to the groups research, those who found Facebook to be addictive or habitual were more likely to return. One participant described this habitual aspect by saying, “In the first ten days, whenever I opened up an Internet browser, my fingers would automatically go to ‘f’.”
2. Privacy and surveillance:
People who use Facebook largely to manage how other people think of them are more likely to log back in, while users who felt their Facebook activity was being monitored were less likely to revert.
3. Subjective mood:
Are you in a good mood? You’re less likely to renege on your pledge to stay off Facebook.
4. Other social media:
The group found that Facebook users were less likely to log back in if they had other social media outlets -like Twitter, for instance – to occupy their time. Interestingly, though, those who reflected on the appropriate role for technology in their social lives were more likely to revert. In many of these cases, people returned to Facebook but altered their use, for example, uninstalling the app from their phones, reducing their number of friends, or limiting the amount of time spent on the platform.
“These results show just how difficult daily decisions about social media use can be,” said study’s first author, Eric Baumer, the study’s first author. “In addition to concerns over personal addiction, people are reluctant about corporations collecting, analysing, and potentially monetising their personal information. However, Facebook also serves numerous important social functions, in some cases providing the only means for certain groups to keep in touch. These results highlight the complexities involved in people’s ongoing decisions about how to use, or not use, social media.”