Most of the Facebook users face that after pledging to walk away from Facebook and permanently shutting down the account, they return back the social platform log back in a week or later. A team of researchers from Cornell University reveals four common reasons why people felt like staying away from Facebook but can’t resist the allure of the network.
The team’s findings were drawn from more than 5,000 surveys issued to participants by “Just”, the Dutch creative agency. The survey data was provided by 99daysoffreedom.com, which is an online campaign that encouraged participants to log off Facebook for 99 days.
The following are the four key reasons why users get addict to Facebook:
1. Perceived addiction
“The first reason is perceived addiction. Those who feel that Facebook is addictive or habitual were more likely to return,” said lead researcher Eric Baumer. One participant described this habitual aspect by saying, “In the first 10 days, whenever I opened up an internet browser, my fingers would automatically go to ‘f.'”
2. Privacy and Surveillance
Another reason is privacy and surveillance. Users who felt their Facebook activity was being monitored were less likely to revert, while those who use Facebook largely to manage how other people think of them are more likely to log back in.
3. Subjective mood
The third reason is subjective mood. In a good mood? You’re less likely to renege on your pledge to stay off Facebook,” the authors noted. These surveys were intended to gauge each user’s mood throughout the Facebook detox. A sampling of this data was then shared with the Cornell research team.
4. Other social media platforms
The research group also found that Facebook users were less likely to log back in if they had other social media outlets like Twitter, for instance. 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,” the authors noted.
“People who leave social media and then return provide the opportunity to understand better what’s at stake when people use — or don’t use — sites like Facebook,” the authors pointed out in a paper published in the journal Social Media + Society. “These results show just how difficult daily decisions about social media use can be,” Baumer added.
“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,” the team concluded.