Never in its 15-year history has Facebook faced more public criticism than it does right now. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg is under immense pressure. Stock prices are falling, censure from the press is increasing, and #DeleteFacebook is trending on all major social networks.
However, according to USA Today, there’s a good chance that talk of the site’s decline is just that—talk.
The news source recently shed light on survey data from Raymond James about people’s changing opinions regarding Facebook. Interestingly, 84 percent of users admitted that they’re “somewhat” or “very” concerned about how the company might be taking advantage of their data. In contrast, only 45 percent said they would use the site “somewhat less” or “significantly less,” and a mere 8 percent said they would quit altogether.
It may simply be the case that Facebook has become an indispensable part of people’s lives.
“It is part of the global internet infrastructure now,” USC professor Safiya Noble told USA Today. “Many people no longer use the phone book to find people or Consumer Reports to evaluate products and services. They rely upon their social networks through Facebook.”
If people can’t find it within themselves to quit Facebook, then the natural question is what alternative they have. Short of leaving the site altogether, some users are choosing to take short sabbaticals or “detox” periods from using social media. In some cases, they’re turning to other platforms like Twitter or Instagram instead.
For the most part, though, people are simply coming to grips with the fact that Facebook addiction is a reality of the modern world.
“We’re living in a digital age where everything we do, say, and search for is tracked, recorded, and logged away somewhere,” Facebook user Josh Johnson told USA Today. “If people are really beginning to delete their Facebook over these findings, they’d better go ahead and delete all their social accounts and go back to landline phones as well.”