That’s the growing sentiment among younger users, who are deleting the app from their phones in drives according to a recent Pew Research study.
Why? According to Tallie Gabriel in The Content Strategist, it comes down to one simple truth.
“Any good relationship is built on trust,” Gabriel writes. “Whether it’s romance, friendship, or the personal leap you take when creating a social media profile, the expectation is the other party will respect the parts of yourself you chose to share with them. When they don’t, you have two choices: give them a second chance or leave.”
Not all have left, of course, but the majority of those who remained have taken breaks and/or increased their privacy settings.
“I know plenty of people who were becoming disillusioned with Facebook after its latest algorithm update, and others who felt too much time on the site was negatively impacting their mental health,” Gabriel writes. “For users like them, the data breach was the final straw in a partnership that was already deteriorating.”
Can Facebook win back their favor? Not likely, given the mountains of negative press Facebook is getting over privacy policies and data handling … and the looming possibility of strict government oversight.
“In recent weeks, Zuckerberg has promised to reorient Facebook into a ‘privacy-focused communications platform’ as the company looks to change its ‘reputation’ and focus instead on secure, intimate communications between users along with content that ‘won’t stick around forever,’” writes Tony Romm in The Washington Post.
“But just this week, Facebook revealed another privacy mishap, admitting it mishandled millions of users’ passwords for Instagram, the company’s photo-sharing app,” Romm continues. “Facebook tucked news of the development into an old blog post Thursday as Washington scrambled over the release of the U.S. government’s findings from its probe of Russia and the 2016 election. To privacy advocates and congressional critics, Facebook’s move amounted to the latest sign that the company and its leaders have failed to learn from past mistakes — and should face heightened oversight.”
This bleed-over into Instagram is especially troubling for brands on that site, which younger users have adopted as their alternative to FB. Will they flee that platform too? It’s too soon to know. But the pressure continues to mount for Zuckerberg and his execs, with government investigations and lawsuits dragging on.
In the meantime, consumers are becoming aware that the only way to ensure their privacy is to stop using Facebook. Even with tightened privacy settings and careful attention to what you post, there are no guarantees.