The idea of quitting social networking sites could mean the end of the world to many people, especially the young generation. The number of people joining social media platforms continues to balloon each minute globally. However, the trend is facing unprecedented backlash, especially due to the violation of privacy by big data companies such as Facebook, pushing some people to quit or take a break from the platforms. The idea of social networking sites losing their relevance is highly unlikely. People will not entirely abandon them but shift to new ones because they have become part of our everyday lives, especially staying connected to friends, family, and organizations.
Privacy issues remain the most significant factor that forces people to quit or consider quitting social networking sites. According to Pew Research findings, 91% of Americans acknowledge the violation of their privacy by social networking sites (Rainie, 2019). Therefore, the problem of privacy will push few people to quit or leave particular social media websites. However, social media has been integrated into our daily lives, from staying connected to families to become the main source of income, information, and even activism tool, which means they cannot completely disappear. According to Rainie (2019), people continue to use social networking sites even as they express their concerns about privacy issues. The statement shows that although many users are worried about violating their privacy, they are still hooked on the sites.
Social media addiction proves that we can have too much of a good thing because people are increasingly falling victims to theft, catfishing, and scams on social networking sites. The number of people contemplating quitting and those who have gone ahead to do so is also increasing because of the overwhelming nature of most social media platforms such as Facebook. According to Rainie (2019), a 2012 survey report shows that 61% of Facebook users took a break from the platform, citing issues such as being too busy, losing interest, wastage of time, and being filled with overwhelming drama and gossip. Social media platforms such as Facebook can be viewed as having too much of a good thing because instead of connecting people and business, it has become a place of monetized drama, gossip, and sycophancy in content creation.
Many people are using a breach of personal privacy as the main reason for quitting. The overwhelming nature of social networking sites in contemplating leaving will have some impact but not as much because people have become attached to their phones and social sites. People are leaving giant social media platforms such as Facebook and joining new ones like TikTok and not entirely quitting social networking. According to Kerpen (2021), the idea that social networking sites will die is a fallacy because they have become part of human behavior today, and the only thing that will happen is old social sites will die, new will emerge, and the human desire to stay connected via social sites is here to stay. The idea that people will start to tune out all of these networks is invalid, and the only thing that most people will do is shift to other new exciting platforms as they emerge in the market.
Some people have indeed left social media sites because of violation of their privacy and the need to stay away from all the overwhelming drama present. However, it is unfair to think that social networking sites will die out or people will start leaving in exodus because our lives have been so integrated into social media. The most important thing is that it is a human desire to stay connected, and social media platforms have fulfilled this need which means users can take a break or shift to other platforms. Therefore, they are not leaving social networking sites anytime soon.
Kerpen, C. (2021). Social Media Is Dead, Right? Well... Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carriekerpen/2021/01/26/social-media-is-dead-right-well/?sh=2f6c28c52736
Rainie, L. (2019, August 17). How Americans feel about social media and privacy. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/27/americans-complicated-feelings-about-social-media-in-an-era-of-privacy-concerns/