Report: 61 Percent Of Facebook Users Have Taken Breaks Of Several Weeks From It

By David Cohen 

Facebook may have 1.06 billion monthly active users, but 61 percent of them have taken time off from the social network in the form of breaks that lasted several weeks, according to the latest study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Of that 61 percent, the most common reason for their Facebook vacations was being too busy or not having time, at 21 percent, with other top answers including lack of interest, an absence of compelling content, excessive gossip or drama from friends, and concerns that they were spending too much time on the social network.

Pew offered the following quotes from respondents:

  • 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.
  • I don’t like their privacy policy.
  • It caused problems in my (romantic) relationship.

Pew also found that 20 percent of respondents used Facebook in the past but do not do so anymore, and their reasons included:

  • It’s a gossipy thing.
  • I didn’t like to talk too much.
  • I’m not social.
  • My account was compromised.
  • I got tired of minding everybody else’s business.
  • Not enough privacy.
  • Got too many communications.
  • Takes my time away.

Other Facebook facts uncovered by Pew include:

  • 8 percent of online adults who are not currently on Facebook are interested in joining the social network.
  • 92 percent of social network users have Facebook profiles.
  • 69 percent of online adults use at least one social network, up from 47 percent in September 2009.
  • 41 percent of social network users said they access the sites more than once per day, up from 33 percent in August 2011.
  • 59 percent of Facebook users said the social network is as important to them as it was one year ago, while 28 percent said it is less important, and 12 percent said it is more important.
  • 53 percent of Facebook users said their time spent on the social network is about the same as last year, while 34 percent are spending less time, and 13 percent are spending more time.
  • 16 percent of women and 7 percent of men said Facebook has become more important to them over the past year, and when it comes to spending more time on the social network, those figures are 16 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
  • 42 percent of Facebook users aged 18 to 29 and 34 percent of those 30 to 49 are spending less time on Facebook when compared with last year, while the same is true for 23 percent of those 50 and older.

  • Turning the focus toward the coming year, 69 percent of respondents said they plan to spend the same amount of time on Facebook, while 27 percent said they would devote less time to the social network, and just 3 percent intended to spend more time on Facebook.
  • 38 percent of Facebook users aged 18 to 29 expect to spend less time on the social network in 2013.

Readers: Did any of these findings surprise you?

Gone fishing image courtesy of Shutterstock.