Pew Study: Social Fatique is Here – Less People Spending Time of Facebook

Facebook Pew Study: Americans scale back time online because the amount of time it takes… As a social media advocate, I personally spent many hundreds of hours building my social media brand over the last 10 years, in particular the last 5 years.. There wasn’t anything in my job descriptions that said how to do this or direct compensation. It took a great deal of time and energy. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying — social media takes a lot of time. What I found as a thought leader in social media that I was getting exhausted from years of being online. I had predicted that if I felt this way – despite how important I think it is,  that is would not be sustainable. If you follow me – you’ve probably noticed that I don’t post as much as I used to. This is not for lack of passion or desire. It’s because I am tired. Social fatigue has set in. What’s interesting is that the study by the PEW institute says I am not alone.

Two-thirds of online American adults are Facebook users, and yet more than half of them say they have taken breaks for a period of several weeks or more, and 27% plan to cut back on usage in 2013, according to  the Pew Institute.

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project indicate there is considerable fluidity in the Facebook user population:

  • 61% of current Facebook users say that at one time or another in the past they have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for a period of several weeks or more.
  • 20% of the online adults who do not currently use Facebook say they once used the site but no longer do so.
  • 8% of online adults who do not currently use Facebook are interested in becoming Facebook users in the future.

They asked the 61% of Facebook users who have taken a break from using the site to tell them in their own words why they did so, and people mentioned a variety of reasons. The largest group (21%) said that their “Facebook vacation” was a result of being too busy with other demands or not having time to spend on the site. Here’s some more reasons why using social media isn’t at the top of people’s TO DO LIST:
-Wasn’t interested/didn’t like it 10%
-Waste of time/content not relevant 10%
-Too much drama/gossip/negativity/conflict 9%
-Was spending too much time on the site 8%
-Only an intermittent or infrequent user 8%
-Went on vacation/trip/deployment 8%
-Just got tired/bored with it 7%
-No real reason/just because 6%
-Concerns about privacy/security/ads/spam 4%
-Did not have computer/internet access 2%
-Prefer other ways to communicate/Facebook not “real life” 2%
-Health or age issues 2%
-Took a break for religious reasons 2%
-Didn’t like posting all the time/didn’t want to share 1%.

About the Survey

The PSRAI December 2012 Omnibus Week 2 obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,006 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (601) and cell phone (405, including 191 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from December 13 to 16, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.6 percentage points.

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