A little less than half of American adults have taken a break from Facebook in the past year, for a period of several weeks or more, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
In addition, 26 percent of Facebook users say they’ve deleted the Facebook app from their cell phone in the past year.
The Pew Research analysis takes a closer look at American adult Facebook usage after the news broke in spring 2018 that Cambridge Analytica collected data on millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.
Published today, the findings are based on a survey of 4,894 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center (part of their American Trends Panel) from May 29, 2018 to June 11, 2018.
- 54 percent say they’ve adjusted their Facebook privacy settings in the past year
- 74 percent say they’ve taken a break from Facebook, adjusted their privacy settings, or deleted the app from their cellphone
- Age makes a difference. Forty-four percent of younger users (18 to 29 years old) have deleted the Facebook app from their phone compared to 12 percent of older users (65 years old or older)
- 33 percent of older adults adjusted their privacy settings in past year compared to 64 percent of younger adults (18 to 49 years old)
- Only nine percent of adults have downloaded their personal data from Facebook
- For those who downloaded their personal data, almost half (47 percent) deleted the app from their cellphone. Nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) adjusted their privacy settings.
I’ve never been a big Facebook user, but the spring 2018 news that Cambridge Analytica had info on Facebook users without their knowledge had me worried.
And as the Pew Research survey reveals, the news worried a lot of Facebook users. And rightly so.
We all need to be aware and take action to protect our privacy on the social media channels we use.
I was a bit surprised to discover the age differences in the survey; I didn’t expect that older users would not act in the same manner as younger users to make changes or delete Facebook apps.
For me, with the Cambridge Analytica news, I took steps to change my Facebook habits:
- Removed the app from my smartphone
- Reviewed and adjusted my Facebook privacy settings (not many changes, since I review my privacy settings every month)
- Downloaded my personal data from Facebook
- Limited my time on Facebook
How about you? As a Facebook user, have you made any changes to how you use Facebook?
Did you decide to delete the app from your cellphone? Let me know what actions you took in the comments.