A recent report by Stefan Stieger, PhD and co-authors at the University of Vienna, Austria looked at an emerging counter movement of people away from Facebook and Social Media. Some people are choosing to commit what’s being called ‘virtual identity suicide’ (I don’t really like this term!) by deleting their Facebook account and moving away from all social networking sites.
To investigate whether Facebook quitters differ from Facebook users, the study examined 600 users (300 of each type) and examined privacy concerns, Internet addiction scores and personality. The Facebook quitters were found to be more cautious about their privacy, have higher Internet addiction scores, and being more conscientious than Facebook users. In fact, 48% of people said that their main reason for leaving Facebook was concerns over privacy.
If you’d like to read the report, click here.
Reports like this will come of no surprise to most people as if you speak to many parents, they will express concerns over privacy in relation to their own accounts and most certainly their childrens’ accounts. I saw recently that a website had been setup called JustDeleteme.com which provides a service which allows you to delete yourself from the Internet. Primarily, it’s a lists a directory of urls that highlights links to pages you may want to remove yourself from, so you don’t have to jump through hoops to do so. This includes sites like Facebook, Foursquare and Dropbox etc.
JustDelete.me ranks each site’s process from “easy” to “impossible,” so you know what to expect ahead of time. For example, Amazon.com is rated “hard” to delete, while PayPal is listed as “easy.” Sites such as Pinterest and Netflix are “impossible.”
What are your thoughts on this? Are you considering a departure from all social media sites?