Why U No Want Facebook?

Why do people resist sites like Facebook and Twitter so much? Part of me thinks it’s because they want to be different and are afraid of actually liking it.  The other part of me thinks it’s a marketing problem. Often these sites are promoted as helping you make new friends. What if you like your current group of friends? Or, they’re advertised as letting you keep in contact “all the time”. Frankly this “always on” idea is a) annoying or b) creepy in today’s age.

How can social media be re-marketed to groups who resist the change so much? Calling all parents, political figures, highly-restrictive companies, older adults! For those who use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked in, G+ – why do you? What do you think would make your stubborn friends sign up? For those who don’t – why don’t you? What would need to happen to encourage you to participate?

-a frustrated social media  + accessibility researcher/graduate student

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3 thoughts on “Why U No Want Facebook?

  1. eduk8tedmynd says:

    I was actually just thinking about this earlier, specifically about my dad who wouldn’t use social media. It’s not for everyone which is a disappointment. There is a wealth of information at real time and that wasn’t possible 5-10 years ago. I think there are three reasons that turn people off.

    1. People abuse their social media usage. It can be using a tool for self glorification or inappropriate self expression. There is a vast amount of content that is damaging to reputations and frustrating to users who are already searching for a reason to validate their assumptions. And for some reason, people either still don’t understand or still don’t care that once you press send, you can’t get it back.

    2. The amount of targeted marketing and ads may turn audiences away as well. These groups of people are wary of the level of security and amount of information that is shared. Now that some information is shared “automatically” or without “opting in”, there is more reason for people to want to remain private.

    3. At the end of the day, people will try (or avoid) social media based on their friends and family member’s usage and how well they understand the purpose. As a computer science major and someone who has done research, I get excited about new technologies but I also recognize the learning curve for even users in my age group or other students. And if the majority of what you hear from others is why they won’t use it, you begin to wonder why you should us it.

    I’ve even considered not using some social media sites. Some of what keeps me is that it may be the only form of communication with some people. The biggest thing is the amount of information that I receive through social media. I am also intrigued on how new technology will interact with existing social media. For these reasons, I prefer Google+ and Twitter over Facebook.

    So how do we get others to use social media more and change this perception? Here are some ideas that I think would work. We need to educate others on the actual purpose of a social media site vs. how others use. It is important to interact with them using social media so that they understand it and become more comfortable with it. Eventually, there will be certain tasks that will require the use of a social media site. At the same time, we should stop using it as much, almost seeming dependent on always “being connected”. People are busy and already think people spend too much time on social media. If you appear the same way, then that’s another turn off. Use it with more but have a balance. But please do not try to force someone to “conform” to using social media. Be respectful of their preference.

    • Robin B. says:

      I agree and partially disagree. It’s proven reasons for use are strongly motivated by use of others in one’s social network. However, I don’t understand how someone else’s abuse of social media will affect yours. You don’t have to mimic their patterns on the site and if you don’t like their information, you don’t have to view it, or even add them to your online network. With regards to ads, I think that could be a problem, but with a lot of older demographics, they can’t tell the difference between what’s an ad and what is actually content on the page. But I do think that with privacy information leaking, the privacy pop-ups for each application addition will scare people away, if it hasn’t done so already.

      And +1 for computer science majors!

      • eduk8tedmynd says:

        I meant that observing others’ usage may cause a person to not want to use social media, even if it’s simply not to see. They may be in their circle but due to the connected nature of social media, there may still be a way to see it. Again, this goes back to education. For example, how to filter information and set up privacy settings. It’s not a good reason but one that I have heard.

        I have also seen the privacy pop-ups scare people away, especially when using mobile applications or connecting to an account. Before, people may have blindly accepted it not realizing what they were authorizing. Now I see more of people just being turned away by the application even asking for permissions, regardless of what the permissions. Sometimes the permissions are harmless or unnecessary, and that falls back on the developers.

        That’s the other thing. Some of the responsibility lies with us as developers as well, and not just the users.

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