Facebook: 5 Reasons to Make Quitting a New Year’s Resolution

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Quitting Facebook isn’t just for teens. While younger users appear to be migrating away from the site in droves in favor of other social networks like Snapchat and Twitter, some older adults are making the choice to move away from social media all together. The reasons are varied but there are at least five that are frequently cited and that may serve as inspiration to make quitting Facebook a New Year’s Resolution for others this year.

1. Facebook makes people feel bad.

Facebook has long suffered a reputation for being linked to depression and now a study from the University of Michigan says there may really be something to that claim. The study found that heavy Facebook use was tied to lower overall life satisfaction. The more subjects used Facebook, the sadder they reported becoming through their responses to standardized research questionnaires. The reason behind this is unclear but the researchers were able to further determine that their subject’s were not more likely to be on Facebook because they felt bad, but that it was clearly the other way around.

Some have hypothesized that seeing friends’ constant happy status updates, reading about their accomplishments and viewing their gleaming family portraits in the absence of accompanying negative information about their lives may lead to feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. Others say that while it is gratifying to post things on Facebook that are liked and commented on, the opposite is true as well. If posts are not getting a reaction, it may cause users to feel ignored or rejected.

2. Facebook harms real social connections.

Facebook connections can be connections with real people but they are often only shallow and peripheral. Despite the rise of Facebook friends, at least one study has shown that over the past 25+ years, Americans have become more isolated and have fewer close friends that they spend time with in real life.

In addition, Facebook and the rise of the smart phone have led to the phenomena of people being “along together.” That is, people are busy checking the status updates of people they are only loosely connected with while sitting silently in the same room with family and friends doing the same, throwing up a barrier to conversation and connection.

Facebook may also be a cause for the development of jealousy in intimate relationships.

3. Facebook makes people narcissistic.

Facebook arguably gives people an inflated sense of self-importance. Many things shared on Facebook would seem ridiculous if shared face to face. Few people really need to know what their friends, Facebook or otherwise, ate for breakfast that morning or whether they chose the treadmill or the elliptical at the gym.

4. Facebook is a distraction.

In a busy world, many Facebook quitters say they just don’t have time for the distraction.  Making real life connections and obligations a priority seems to be a common refrain among those committing social media suicide, making it an essential inclusion in this list of five reasons to consider quitting Facebook as a New Year’s Resolution.

5. Facebook doesn’t protect your private information.

Among the top cited reasons for quitting Facebook are concerns about privacy. Increasingly, people are leaving the site because of fears that their information could be sold or maliciously hacked. This trend seems to be increasing as Facebook has introduced more and different methods of advertising.

Facebook has become such a huge part of American life, that quitting it can feel like a real loss, but some say it is worth taking the plunge to improve interpersonal communication, real life relationships and productivity. While there are almost certainly more than five reasons to quit Facebook, these five may be enough to reflect upon and consider when deciding whether to make a no more Facebook New Year’s Resolution for 2014.

By Michele Wessel

Sources

Fusion
NY Times
Medical Daily
Huffington Post
Time

3 Responses to Facebook: 5 Reasons to Make Quitting a New Year’s Resolution

  1. Tom Rockett January 12, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I tried facebook and didn’t “like” it. E-mail is just fine without all the drama. If I need to talk to friends I have a phone too! I’ve even actually met people face to face – without a “book” Wow, that could catch on!

    Reply
  2. Brenda January 2, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I agree with the comment above (from Czerny), but as this article points out – there are many valid reasons why someone may want to quit Facebook.
    I would add that using Facebook when you struggle with clinical depression can make things worse (at least, that was my personal experience).
    Furthermore, being on Facebook can be awful in the aftermath of a breakup (I had urges to “check” my ex’s profile even though I knew it would harm me, I kept blocking and unblocking his profile, etc).
    I also noticed that I started to feel less connected to people, and felt that it was a quick and easy way to pseudo-socialize that was ultimately so much less rewarding than more private (i.e. telephone or e-mail), or in-person, socializing (which is more difficult but more worthwhile in my opinion).
    In the end, I felt that my presence on Facebook was inauthentic (since I was always there reluctantly).
    Not everyone enjoys or gets much from Facebook, and that should be perfectly socially acceptable (just as it is to be on Facebook).
    I should mention that I don’t think Facebook per se is necessarily bad, it’s just that I personally did not benefit from using it. If it works for you, great! But if it doesn’t, quitting may be an option worth considering. I permanently deleted my account a few weeks ago, and feel that it was the right decision for me.

    Reply
  3. Czerny December 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    If you use facebook you need to learn how do a two things, if you can’t do both, you should probably close your account.
    1 – Learn to be less easily offended/jealous, some people will post images and say things you don’t agree with, others will show you how happy they are all the time. Deal with it.
    2 – Learn what NOT to post. Most issues that cause bad blood via Facebook are caused by one person posting something they know they shouldn’t. If you don’t want it to be seen by everyone you’ve ever met, don’t post it at all.

    Reply

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