Taking Part in The Conversation: Why You Can’t Delete Facebook

If you’ve been following Facebook at all these past couple of weeks, you’ll know that they are once again involved in a huge data leak. Many people are (understandably) furious with the social network, but don’t quite have it in them to delete their account. What makes it so hard to cut ties? That’s the topic of a new article on The Conversation, titled “Why it’s so hard to #DeleteFacebook: Constant psychological boosts keep you hooked.” The article was written by a professor and three PhD students of mass communication at Pennsylvania State University: S. Shyam Sundar (the professor), Bingjie Liu, Carlina DiRusso, and Michael Krieger. It offers many reasons why users continually come back to Facebook, even after huge violations of privacy and trust. Here are a few:

It is a useful tool for strengthening relationships. Every time you like a friend’s post or wish them happy birthday, you are reminding them of your friendship. “All these tiny, fleeting contacts help users maintain relationships with large numbers of people with relative ease.”

It allows you to control the image you project. Because you are in control of what you post, you can mold the way others see you in a way that you can’t in real life. Users can shape their identity by posting about the exclusive concert they went to, or the front-row basketball tickets they scored. Essentially, “online you get to project the ideal version of yourself all the time.”

It allows you to snoop through an open window. People look up others on Facebook all the time, often “surreptitiously.” From wanting to know more about someone you just met, to checking to see if your friends are getting together without you, Facebook allows users to constantly monitor others’ activities. “Even privacy-minded senior citizens, loathe to reveal too much about themselves, are known to use Facebook to snoop on others.”

To read the other reasons you just can’t seem to break up with Facebook, check out the full article at https://theconversation.com/why-its-so-hard-to-deletefacebook-constant-psychological-boosts-keep-you-hooked-92976