“Are you on Facebook” became more of a rhetorical question during the last decade. The Social media platform that was founded 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg has over 2 Billion active Users in Europe (status July 2017) . and 2 Trillion worldwide (status July 2017). In the last years Facebook had to deal with a lot of critique concerning them collecting too much data and not respecting their user’s privacy. These discussions haven’t really led to a massive leaving of the platform. But why? The question is, it is even possible to quit Facebook nowadays?
The Circular has conducted several interviews to find out about Students opinion on the platform
Facebook Usage in Numbers
In Europe in quarter 2 of 2017, 271 Million People used Facebook daily. Worldwide, 1,325 Million People visited Facebook at least once a day. The Number of People actively using the Platform daily, has risen since years just as the number of people using the platform in general.
While US & Canada has a rather low number of daily users, most of the companies’ profits comes from these countries.
Facebook Usage and Joining Age
In our Interviews we first asked if the Students are using Facebook and when they joined. Each Student answered that they were using Facebook and we found out that most of them joined around the age of 14 to 16 and have been using the platform for 7 to 8 years by now.
While most of them answered they never thought about quitting it, some said, that they have taken breaks from the social media platform or aren’t actively using it beside messaging their friends. The reason for not actively participating on Facebook was that their friends post pictures and statements on Instagram and Twitter rather than on Facebook and many companies and Persons they are interested in are more active on this platforms.
The most named reason for deleting your account was the data collection of Facebook. Besides that, the fact that friends also are reachable through other platforms like Instagram, Twitter and What’s app. The usual reason for not deleting your account still was the fear of not being able to stay in contact with friends. This especially applied to Students abroad who told us, that messaging their Friends from all over the world is way easier with Facebook.
One of the participants told us, that during the period without a Facebook Account, she wasn’t getting trouble connecting to her friends but missing out events and information. She told The Circular, that most of her friends and family simply forgot that she isn’t using the Platform. Therefore, they didn’t tell her separately about Birthday Party’s or Stories they already posted on Facebook.
The Impact on Social Life
Unrelated to the fact if they ever quit Facebook themselves, we asked the Students if quitting Facebook is possible without noticing an impact on their social life. While most of them answered that they think quitting it is possible, they also said that it would be difficult to stay in contact with your friends. Using WhatsApp, it wouldn’t be a problem for most of them though. Not knowing about certain events and parties you get invited to via Facebook seemed like the bigger problem for most of the interviewed Students.
The best and worst features of Facebook
As last question of each interview, we asked the students what the best and worst thing about Facebook is. While the opinions on Facebook’s best feature varied, the worst thing about the platform seems to be the huge collection of data. The participants said, that this seems to happen mostly without permission of the user. Stumbling across advertisements that seem to originate from a single click on a product on another website gives you the feeling that Facebook is basically following each of your steps.
Deleting your Facebook Account isn’t as easy as you might think. As you can read on Facebook, you have two options.
You can deactivate your account, which means that your data keeps being available and you can reactivate your account any time. Though no one will be able to see your timeline, all your messages keep being visible.
Deleting your Account will result in you not being able to access it anymore. Most of your data will still be on the Facebook Servers for at least 90 days. After this time you log records will remain on the Servers. Facebook writes that they aren’t connected to personal identifies at this stage.
Take a look at this page to find out how to delete as much information as possible without reaching out to Facebook. And if you just want to know what Facebook knows about you, look at your settings! You can download a backup of your data. This file doesn’t contain all information, but most of it.