Facebook frenzy? Some say give it a rest . . .

Ever find yourself thinking about taking a break from Facebook?  A new survey from the Pew Research Center says 61 percent of adult Facebook members in the United States have felt the need to stop posting, updating, liking and commenting — for a period of several weeks or more.

The survey, conducted by the center’s Internet and American Life Project, offers some telling insights into how Facebook users feel about the social network.  It also provides some evidence for those who believe Facebook has mostly saturated the potential user base in this country and now must look for further growth in international markets.

More than two-thirds (67%) of adult Internet users in the United States are Facebook members, the center reports.  But according to the December survey, 61% of those adult Facebook members have found themselves taking an extended breather at some point.

The reasons?  Of those who took a break from Facebook, 21% said they were too busy or didn’t have time for the social network; 10% said they just weren’t interested; 10% cited a lack of compelling content; and 9% said there was too much “drama, gossip, negativity or conflict” on the site.

About 27% of Facebook users said they plan to spend less time on the social  network  in coming months.  And 20% of adult Internet users who aren’t active Facebook members say they used to be, but decided to leave for good.

But another survey in November found that adults who use social networking sites are checking in more frequently than in the past.  And the December poll found 59% said that Facebook is just as important to them as it ever was.

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (322 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.