(Mirror Daily, United States) – All Facebook users have tried at least once to break off with the addictive platform, only to come back a week or two later and researchers seem to have found an explanation for this behavior that keeps us coming back.
A team of researchers at Cornell University have explored the factors that prevent a permanent log off from Facebook by using survey data provided by 99daysoffreedom.com. This website hosted an online campaign that launched a challenge for the participants: to log off Facebook for 99 days.
After the experiment period, the researchers focused on those who couldn’t complete the challenge, those who came back to Facebook’s social network before the experiment was over. Analyzing their reactions, the researchers found there are four leading factors causing reversion.
Firstly, there is a certain perceived addiction – there are plenty of Facebook users who feel addicted to the network, and according to the group’s research, the habitual users are the most likely to return. One of the participants described this aspect rather clearly, saying that it is impossible for him to open an internet browser and not have his fingers automatically go to ‘f’.
There’s also the aspect of surveillance and personal privacy – users who feel monitored on Facebook are significantly less likely to come back, but those who use Facebook largely to shape their image in the eyes of friends are more likely to log back in.
The third reason for relapse is subjective mood; it means that users who have an overall good mood are less likely to break their pledge and reinitiate their activity on Facebook. On fourth place were the other social media platforms: researchers found that Facebook users who are also on other social media outlets will be less likely come back to Facebook.
Those participants who reflected on the role technology had in their social lives did returned to Facebook, but their use was altered. For instance, many of them uninstalled the app from their phones, or reduced their number of friends. The most difficult was limiting the amount of time one spends on the platform.
More than 5,000 surveys were the basis of the team’s findings; the 99 Days of Freedom project was initiated by Just, a Dutch creative agency. The experiment wasn’t trying to deny the numerous important social functions that Facebook has – providing efficient means for certain groups to keep in touch.
Image Source: YIMG
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