The Lookout

‘Facebook vacations’: Droves of users take breaks of several weeks or more, study finds

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Taking a break from Facebook? You're not alone.

More than 60 percent of adult Facebook users say they have taken a break from the social media site, according to a new study released on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. And 27 percent of users say they plan to spend less time on Facebook in 2013.

"People are trying to make new calibrations in their life to accommodate new social tools," Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project and a co-author of the new report, wrote in an email to Yahoo News. "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?' They are adding up the pluses and minuses on a kind of networking balance sheet."

Of those who took a so-called "Facebook vacation"—staying away from the site for a period of several weeks or more—21 percent said they did so because they were "too busy," while 10 percent cited a "general lack of interest." Another 10 percent blamed a "lack of compelling content," according to the Pew report.

Nine percent said they were turned off by the "excessive gossip or drama," while 8 percent said they worried they were spending too much time on the site. Two percent of those surveyed said they "preferred other ways to communicate" or came to the conclusion Facebook is not “real life.”

Only a small portion of users (4 percent) cited privacy concerns as their reason for taking a “Facebook vacation.”

Despite the droves taking breaks, roughly two-thirds of adults online are Facebook users, the study found. And most (69 percent) say they plan to spend the same amount of time on the site this coming year.

According to internal Facebook data, the site had more than 1 billion monthly active users as of December 2012—82 percent of them from outside the U.S. and Canada. And the 8-year-old site averages 618 million active users daily.

See the full results of the Pew study.

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