Americans are actually starting to turn away from Facebook

Katie Krzaczek
Associate Editor

Pew Research Center released data showing that Facebook (FB) users in the U.S. have started to step back from the social network.

The survey asked adult users if, over the past year, they had adjusted their privacy settings, taken a break from the app for several weeks or more, or deleted the app from their phone.

(Photo: Pew Research)

A full 74% of respondents had taken one of those actions, including 42% who have actually taken a break for at least several weeks.

And 26% of respondents — including 44% of users ages 18 to 29 — went as far as deleting the app from their phone.

“I deleted the app from my phone,” Yahoo Finance’s Dan Roberts said on Midday Movers (video above). “And yes, I’ve taken a break from using it. … I just find that Facebook now has so much noise, so much clutter.”

(Photo: screenshot/YouTube/Gyan Factory /Katie Krzaczek/Yahoo Finance)

‘As much of your time and conscious attention as possible’

The Pew data is particularly interesting given that a previous survey from The Harris Poll indicated that social media users ranked Facebook as the hardest platform to break away from.

Trevor Haynes, a research technician in the department of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, explained that “companies like Facebook will continue to do everything they can to keep your eyes glued to the screen as often as possible.”

Sean Parker, an early Facebook investor and its first president, told Mike Allen of Axios: “The thought process was all about, ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, rapper Snoop Dogg, and entrepreneur Sean Parker pose backstage at Sean Parker’s Celebration of Music on September 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

That’s not to say Facebook’s tactics work on everyone: Younger users are much more likely to adjust their habits on the platform, according to the Pew study. Only a third of U.S. Facebook users 65 and older have changed their privacy settings in the past year, compared with 64% of younger users.

“I think it’s fair to say a lot of people just don’t log on … as much as they used to,” Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith said.

Read more: Here comes Gen Z and ‘significant’ shifts in buying trends