Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has released some findings from a survey about American Facebook users. The data comes from just over 1,000 adults in the continental U.S. via telephone interviews, so that’s roughly a millionth of Facebook’s user base. Stats are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies, Pew says.
According to the survey, one in four users say they plan to cut back on Facebook usage this year. 3% of them say they plan to spend more time on the site, 27% say they plan to spend less time on the site, and 69% say they plan to spend around the same amount of time on the site.
“Young adults are the most likely forecasters of decreased engagement,” says Pew. “Some 38% of Facebook users ages 18-29 expect to spend less time using the site in 2013, although a majority of users across age groups anticipate that their Facebook usage will remain largely stable in the year to come.”
Two thirds of online American adults are Facebook users, according to Pew, and 61% of current Facebook users say that at one time or another in the past they have voluntarily taken a break from the social network for a period of several weeks or more. 20% of the online adults who don’t currently use Facebook say they used to. 8% of those who don’t use it say they’re interested in doing so in the future.
These are the most popular reason researchers were given for why people took breaks from Facebook:
Perhaps more telling are the verbatim reasons Pew shares:
“I was tired of stupid comments.”
“[I had] crazy friends. I did not want to be contacted.”
“I took a break when it got boring.”
“It was not getting me anywhere.”
“Too much drama.”
“You get burned out on it after a while.”
“I gave it up for Lent.”
“I was fasting.”
“People were [posting] what they had for dinner.
“I didn’t like being monitored.”
“I got harassed by someone from my past who looked me up.”
“It caused problems in my [romantic] relationship.”