On the heels of a report by two German universities on “Facebook envy” (which we recently covered on this site), the Pew Internet and American Life Project just released findings from a new study suggesting that 61 percent of Facebook users have admitted to taking a voluntary multi-week break from the network.
According to the study, the reasons for taking this “Facebook vacation” varied: 21 percent of those who took a break did it because they were too busy and didn’t have time for it; 10 percent said it was becoming a waste of time, while 9 percent said they were tired of the excessive gossip and “drama” of their friends. Nearly as many – 8 percent – were worried they were spending too much time on the site and needed to take a break.
Pew's latest data also showed that 27 percent of Facebook users plan to spend less time on the site this year, while 69 percent plan to spend the same amount of time on the site. Only 3 percent plan to spend more time on the site.
According to one ABC News item, the data shows that people are trying to calibrate their lives to accommodate social tools – but not all of us have the same reasons to use them. Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet Project and a co-author of the new report, told ABC, “For some, the central calculation is how they spend their time. For others, it’s more of a social reckoning as they ask themselves, ‘What are my friends doing and thinking and how much does that matter to me?’”
Have you undergone a similar kind of “social reckoning,” and will it lead to a vacation from social networking? Weigh in.