Facebook kicked-off the social network craze in 2004, subsequently getting teens addicted to showing-off their life activities proudly on their pages.
Whether be it attending parties, going to vacations, showing off their love to partners, sharing the news of their first job, youngsters spent most of the time on Facebook updating their page and increasing the 'number' of friends.
What started off as a simple way to connect to friends turned into a necessity for the users over a period of time. The overwhelming need to constantly update the page with more information or check your friends' updates/notifications increasingly pushed the users to log on multiple times a day.
Facebook Chat became one obsession which everyone relished and engaging in different discussions via comments on posts certainly was alluring.
Until the time the realization hits as to how much time one actually spends on Facebook, you are already addicted. Even after deciding to cut back, the calling of the virtual world is hard to resist as the interesting information or updates keep you hooked continuously.
With more than 1.23 billion active users, the popularity has surely been constant, yet the disadvantages cannot be ignored any longer.
In a study published by the Journal Of Behavioral Addictions in December, the comparisons were drawn between symptoms of substance use and behavioural addictive disorders and symptoms of excessive use of the social network.
The number of likes on a post or posting an 'appropriate' status seeking validation from others keeps one entangled in the web of Facebook.
All these reasons make it hard to resist the platform and similar to quitting a habit, it gets tough. One faces withdrawal symptoms and often gets back just to check whether there are any notifications that need attention, despite making a decision not to log onto Facebook for a long period. Once you are logged in, it's hard not to scroll through.
A journal, PLOS ONE published a survey by Tufts University in US where in it was found that Facebook users would require an average of over $1,000 (around Rs 70,000), which was decided by the students interviewed, as a motivation to deactivate their account for one year.
In a 2017 study, the Journal Of Social Psychology published that a lot of people realized the amount of social information having an impact on stress levels and taking a five-day break from Facebook can reduce stress levels, increase your productivity and have time for other aspects in a day, as per the researchers of the study.
The pressure or need to respond to the posts/notifications can constantly be hard to control forcing the urge to use Facebook.
It gets quite addictive and reliant for users towards the social network owing to information overload but the personal information being shared with the public caused a reason for apprehension.
The social platform has surely witnessed the wrong side of privacy infringement, as it accumulates personal information about users and shares it with third-party advertisers, making people to rethink the information they post on Facebook.
A Washington-based Pew Research Centre conducted a survey in September, wherein it was found that 54% users adjusted their privacy settings recently while 42% of the 4,594 respondents cut off from checking Facebook for long duration. Also, more often, the users find their privacy settings mysteriously getting changed to allow public viewing of the information.
However, quitting the social network may not be smooth anymore as Facebook works as an key instrument for even careers as the latest trends or updates regarding colleagues can be a real booster in social gatherings.
Nevertheless, the gains of moving past the platform can be termed more valuable as the pressure is off to regularly provide updates. On this ground, the millennials are catching on to Instagram, a less intrusive way to be connected to people. Also, there is no need to interact with people which could be a much needed breather for the users.