Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Some Resist Facebook

Facebook has been in the news a lot in recent days. The IPO, Mark Zuckerberg's wedding, and analyses of how it interacts with our psyches (i.e. Stephen Marche's "Loneliness" article in the Atlantic Monthly). The sheer enormity of the social network - 900 million people use Facebook - is so staggering that those that choose not to use it have become objects of curiosity. What would possibly cause a reported two out of five American adults to actually resist Facebook?

Surely Facebook holdouts must be peculiar, social hermits, or just old and out of touch. Actually, sometimes it's none of the above. According to an AP article by Anick Jesdanun, there are many reasons why adults opt out. An AP-CNBC poll reveals that the reasons for resisting Facebook include:

* A generational difference. Although they may not be adverse to computers, some older adults are satisfied with their social lives and don't have the drive to connect with new social groups in the same way their younger counterparts do.
* Economic and educational status. Lower income populations are less likely to use Facebook, sometimes because they don't have computers or Internet access. Those without college degrees are also less likely to use the social network.
* Privacy concerns. "Women who choose to skip Facebook are more likely than men to cite privacy issues."
* A general dislike of Facebook.

One further bit of information about the makeup of a Facebook resister. According to Steve Jones, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago:
Many resisters consider Facebook to be too much of a chore. We've added social networking to our lives. We haven't added any hours to our days... the decision to be online on Facebook is simultaneously a decision not to be doing something else.
Amen to that.

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