Why (and how) many teens are moving out from Facebook
I was the first to opt-out Facebook from my buddies. Since early June I am (one of the few, I have to say, millions of the so called “Western civilization—society” worldwide) who deactivated their Facebook account without any thinking of returning back. Lately, I see a few other friends to deactivating their Facebook accounts and some others who haven’t ever registered for a profile.
This might be a trend — or an effect on people from the notorious Privacy problems. Well, to admit it, I had a fully customized profile. A selected few could see my wall, write, comment, etc while others could not see all of my photos — just some albums in most cases. I had also a list of “friends-I-don’t-know”, who could only see, let’s say, my profile picture.
I was “evangelizing” Privacy settings to my friends. Most of them didn’t care, others looked like “Oh, that’s interesting. I’ll do it.” And from the guys who did not care some of them are asking me how to customize Privacy now. That being said, I don’t think Privacy was an issue for the masses. People didn’t care or didn’t know — that’s exactly were Zuck was and is betting on. Unawareness.
A little bit off-topic: There’s an interesting thought that this “opting-out Facebook” thing is something like a “being alternative” trend — being against masses. Being not “hip” or something. That could evolve into peer-pressure later (in a few months — under a year) — more on peer-pressure in a minute.
The masses will never deactivate/delete their Facebook all-together. They’ll never care for privacy (admit it, we, only the geeks care for such things or evangelize them and so on). They’ll never care why “Like” and not “Fan”. They’ll never care about what technologies are being used by Facebook. They’ll never care why Facebook evolves that way (if they know why Facebook evovles in the first place from a plain soc. net. to a all-things-social-we-control-your-internet thing). They’ll never do something out of the ordinary. In fact, they are bound to one another. Heck, that’s why they’re a mass in first place!
My guess, if there’s any way to achieve or even understand why will ever (if they, honestly) move out from Facebook in masses, this is peer-pressure. Imagine something like a tsunami wave of influences spread very fast. I quit, you quit, he quit. Oh, another one has just quited. This series of events — chain reactions will affect them. They’ll start eventually saying “Uh, oh, something’s going on here. Everyone’s leaving. Nothing else to do here alone, I’ll leave too.” Obviously, this is a pure “early-adopters vs. laggards” concept — and answers both to the “why” and “how” of the question “Why and how teens move out from Facebook.”
But yet again this is, in my opinion, very unlikely to happen. As I can see and observe from friends and people I know, most of the Facebook users are kind of Facebook addicts. But if the thing starts rolling, that equals too a pretty much decent number of people moving out, it won’t stop. Picture this.
Now, picture Diaspora. This is what I am waiting for. This is something really cool. Personally controlled, do-it-all, distributed open-source social network. I pray that it will have easy-to-install packages and installation in general, so it can attract the non-early-adopter geeks, aka the masses and the mainstream. I think this is a good way for pushing peer-pressure. I think Diaspora can become the tipping point, the change for many users.
We’ll see. We cannot predict, we cannot be sure.
What do you think? What’s your opinion about the “why” and the “how” of teens —or in general people— abandoning Facebook?
PS.: I’m 17.
PS. 2: This is post is basically my thoughts on “Why many teens are moving from Facebook” post by eMarketer and the reason why I wrote it, is to publish my thoughts as an ex-Facebook teen. Oh, and by the way, eMarketer’s post is definitely a good piece of read.