Facebook making UK teens depressed, says study
Account deletion becoming more common as fatigue sets in
TechLife | 21 Jun 2012 :
It looks like one of Facebook's pre-IPO caveats is on the verge of becoming a reality as user fatigue begins to set in with UK users. A report
from market research agency Conquest conducted on a sample of 300 members between the ages of 14 and 24 found that growing concerns over privacy and harrassment were turning them off the social network.
'Fuicide' (the attempted or successful deletion of the account) was reported to be on the rise, as were complaints about the damaging impact of regular and prolonged use. Grievances triggered by Facebook's culture include obsession with appearance and acceptance of sexually provocative behaviour; increased negative self esteem, vulnerability to bullying, depression caused by jealousy and comparing one's life to peers and inability to project one's true self.
Over 30% of respondents said they had sufficiently bad experience online to attempt or succeed in deleting their accounts, with 13% of regular users planning to lower their presence over the coming 12 months.
Vulnerability to bullying was stated by 44% as reason for feeling unhappy about the site, followed by increased negative self esteem (28%); depression sparked by unfavourable comparisons with other people's lives (25%); and plain jealousy of others (24%).
Nearly half of all young women (45%) and a third of men (33%) polled felt that Facebook intensifies an obsession with appearance, with over a quarter stating that it boosts the acceptance of sexually provocative presentation.
A growing frustration was articulated with the Facebook culture's inability to enable authentic expression of character. This is offset by young men's relish at the opportunity afforded to exaggerate the facts about themselves, with 44% admitting to this.
Generally speaking it is unsurprisingly young women who suffer more from the adverse effects of Facebook than their male counterparts with more female deleters and complainants of harmful consequences.