Need to Take a Break from Facebook? You’re Not Alone

Have you ever felt you had to take a break from Facebook? Join the club. According to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, as many as 61 percent of current users of that social networking giant say they have voluntarily taken a break for several weeks or more.

The research organization said the largest group of those Facebook vacationers (21 percent) said they did so because they were too busy with other demands or otherwise did not have enough time for the site. Ten percent said they had a general lack of interest in the site and another 10 percent cited an absence of compelling content.

For 9 percent, the reason for the break was excessive gossip or "drama" on the part of their friends, and for 8 percent, the reason was concerns that they were spending too much time there.

'Not Getting Me Anywhere'

Pew cites such comments from respondents who took a break as "I was tired of stupid comments," "I took a break when it got boring," or "It was not getting me anywhere." Some also noted ways in which interactions on the site actually began to interfere with their life, such as causing problems in a romantic relationship or getting harassed.

Facebook is so large -- two-thirds of all online American adults are Facebook users -- that Pew also decided to find out if non-users had been users before. The study found that 20 percent of those adult Net users who do not use Facebook say they have in the past but do not now, while 8 percent of current non-users are interested in using it sometime.

But, overall, the integration of social networking sites into everyday life continues to grow. The study noted that 69 percent of online adults use some kind of...

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