From the recent surveys conducted in America probing the use of social media platforms, we saw some shocking results. For the first time ever, daily usage of Facebook went down from 67 percent of Americans aged 12 years and older to 62 percent. It was interesting to read about the reasons behind this decline and from my understanding, the three main causes are Skepticism, strife, and indifference amongst the users.
It all started with Facebook’s mishandling of all the personal information of the users for marketers and advertisers without clearly informing them about the same. When people became aware of this misstep, it did not go well for Facebook. Since then, it’s been downhill for the platform because privacy and accountability combined with mainstream media’s association with ‘fake news’ have made it a challenging time for Facebook’s sustenance. The users are not keen to trust the motives and judgments of those who operate the platform.
The ‘fun’ factor has been out of Facebook for some time now and I couldn’t agree more to it. Zuckerberg created it with the thought of connecting people all over the world however, the entire atmosphere has become so toxic and negative that lately, I see someone or the other on my news feed talking about leaving the platform and for good.
Talking to some of my own friends, work colleagues, and acquaintances, I realized that the views and opinions of people on even the minutest of topics start this never-ending debate. We all have the freedom of speech and the right to opinion but not at the cost of someone’s mental health. The negativity behind those anonymous usernames can really get to you so where is the fun?
Reduced trust along with a reduced willingness to argue amongst us on Facebook has resulted in this tide of disinterest among its users. No one has the time and energy to deal with unnecessary comments and opinions when the sole purpose of using social media platforms is to connect with friends and family and share moments with them.
Another interesting explanation for the decline represents a natural shift of users to either different platforms or using different parts of the Facebook ecosystem like Instagram and Messenger. I can not talk about TikTok here, one of the major competitors of Facebook. It has seen a sudden increase in its usage, especially with the younger demographics who use the platform multiple times on a daily basis for a more personalized experience.