May 28, 2012

Facebook Dropouts, Holdouts Say World's Biggest Social Network Is A Waste OfTime FB -

Catie Hindman, a 21-year-old psychology student at California's Diablo Valley College, had a problem with social network Facebook (FB) — she couldn't leave it alone, sometimes spending two hours a day aimlessly browsing the site.

"I found myself spending way too much time on that thing, and all I'd do is compare my current situation — with school, housing, etc. — to that of my peers," Hindman said.

Striving to finish her degree, she decided Facebook was a waste of time. Hindman quit Facebook this year, cutting ties with most of the 600-plus "friends" she'd had on the site — and becoming one of, she says, the 1% of her social group not on the site. "I guess I'm out of the loop with some things," she said, "but I'm OK with that."

With 901 million active users, roughly half the world's Internet users are on Facebook. That's one reason the company's IPO, which launched Friday, was among the most anticipated ever.

But some choose not to use it. A look at a few of those non-Facebook-users shows they don't seem too worried about privacy issues or being targeted by ads. The big gripe seems to be that it takes too much time for too little value.

"Five hours later and you've looked at 467 pictures of someone you don't even know — that was a problem for me," said Katherine Zapert, a 20-something living in Queens, N.Y., who left Facebook in 2008.

"I just didn't care enough about everyone's 'awesome' night out," said Ashli Norton, 26, who runs from Atlanta.

"I kind of did the whole Facebook 'Generation One' thing, with Friendster (a Facebook precursor)," said Sandra Kim, a lawyer in Los Angeles in her early 30s. "I learned my lesson — spent too much time trying to have as many friends as possible."

Ben Lueck, a 29-year-old graduate student at University of California at Berkeley, agrees. He never joined Facebook and says he's not interested in keeping up with high school friends.

"I find it pretty depressing to know what people I don't care about are doing," Lueck said. "And the whole idea of cultivating and curating an online personality bothers me."

Of course, a company that went public at a U.S. record $104 billion market valuation must have some value; for example, missing out on an invitation to a party. "That really happened to me," said Zapert, "and then I was chastised for not being there."

And some hiring managers might prefer that job candidates have a "presence" online, though Facebook non-users might not care.

"It feels like if you don't have any online presence you must be hiding something," Lueck said. "And that really makes me want to have even less to do with it."

by Kevin Shalvey Investor's Business Daily May 18, 2012

Facebook Dropouts, Holdouts Say World's Biggest Social Network Is A Waste OfTime FB -

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