Can't quit Facebook? Researchers have found the reasons why

If you've ever tried taking a break from Facebook, or quitting the site altogether, only to find yourself logging back on just a few hours laters, a newly published study by researchers from Cornell Information Science at Cornell University, USA, may have found the reasons why.

See Full Article

An article published on Cornell University's website describes how the team of researchers looked at more than 5,000 surveys completed by participants taking part in the Dutch project, 99 Days of Freedom. The ongoing project invites Facebook users to give up the social networking site for a period of 99 days, or longer if they wish.

Surveys were issued to participants on days 33, 66, and 99 of the project to gauge participants' moods throughout their Facebook-free period.

A sample of this data was then shared with the team at Cornell University, who focused in on partipants who had signed up to quit Facebook, but who couldn't quite kick the habit.

From their analysis the researchers concluded that there are essentially four factors that lead people to log back on to the social network

  • Perceived addiction: participants who felt that Facebook was addictive were more likey to go back, with one individual reporting that "In the first 10 days, whenever I opened up an internet browser, my fingers would automatically go to ‘f'"
  • Privacy and surveillance: Participants who felt that Facebook was monitoring their activity were less likely to return to the site. However those that used Facebook to manage others' perceptions of them were more likely to go back
  • Subjective mood: If participants were feeling positive, they were less likely to return
  • Other social media: Participants who used other social media outlets, such as Twitter, were also less likely to return

Commenting on the findings, Science and Communication Researcher Eric Baumer who co-authored the study said, "These results show just how difficult daily decisions about social media use can be. In addition to concerns over personal addiction, people are reluctant about corporations collecting, analyzing and potentially monetizing their personal information."

However, he also added that "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 study was published December 3 in Social Media + Society.

Many recent studies have looked into the effects of Facebook use, finding that it can have a negative effect on wellbeing.

A study published last week by the University of British Columbia, Canada, found that envy is a key motivator behind many Facebook updates, with Facebook having led some users to feel unfulfilled by their own lives when compared to those of others.

Meanwhile a Danish study by a team of researchers from the Happiness Research Institute, Denmark, published their findings last month which showed that in their investigation Facebook users were 39% more likely to experience feelings of unhappiness than non-Facebook users.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • SpaceX launches rocket with supplies to International Space Station

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was sent into space Sunday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, on a mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. The launch was the first from Kennedy Space Center since the shuttles were retired six years ago. Source
  • SpaceX trying again to launch rocket from historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is taking another shot at launching a rocket from NASA's historic moon pad. As dawn broke Sunday over Florida's Kennedy Space Center, the unmanned Falcon rocket stood at Launch Complex 39A, poised to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Source
  • SpaceX launches rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's historic moonshot pad is back in business. A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off Sunday morning from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. It's carrying a load of supplies for the International Space Station. Source
  • SpaceX go for launching rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is all set to launch a rocket from NASA's historic moon pad. As the sun rose Saturday over Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the unmanned Falcon rocket stood at Launch Complex 39A, ready to soar. Source
  • SpaceX set to launch rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is all set to launch a rocket from NASA's historic moon pad. As the sun rose Saturday over Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the unmanned Falcon rocket stood at Launch Complex 39A, ready to soar. Source
  • SpaceX halts rocket launch from NASA moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SpaceX will have to wait at least another day to launch from NASA's historic moon pad. Last-minute rocket trouble forced SpaceX to halt Saturday's countdown at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. The unmanned Falcon rocket remains at Launch Complex 39A, waiting to soar on a space station delivery mission. Source
  • Last-second launch delay for SpaceX at historic moon pad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Last-minute rocket trouble forced SpaceX on Saturday to delay its inaugural launch from NASA's historic moon pad. SpaceX halted the countdown with just 13 seconds remaining. The problem with the second-stage thrust control actually cropped up several minutes earlier. Source
  • Abundant fish draw 1 million penguins to Argentine peninsula

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PUNTA TOMBO, Argentina -- More than a million penguins have travelled to Argentina's Punta Tombo peninsula during this year's breeding season, drawn by an unusual abundance of small fish. Local officials say that's a record number in recent years for the world's largest colony of Magellanic penguins, offering an especially stunning spectacle for the tens of thousands of people who visit the reserve annually. Source
  • Biologists find weird cave life that may be 50,000 years old

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BOSTON -- Scientists examining caves in Mexico have found life trapped in crystals that could be 50,000 years old. Penelope Boston, head of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, on Friday announced the findings of bizarre and ancient microbes in caves in Nica, Mexico. Source
  • Citizen Science: You could find Planet 9

    Tech & Science CBC News
    This is your chance to enter the history books as the discoverer of a ninth planet that astronomers believe is hiding in the outer reaches of our solar system. A space telescope has scanned the skies and may have already seen it, but finding it in the huge data set is proving difficult. Source