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Phoenix Forward

5 reasons Facebook-haters won’t join the party

Social media isn’t for everyone

“Sorry, I don’t use Facebook®.” In today’s social media age, that statement can elicit surprise, even get you labeled as an out-of-touch Luddite. But there are many reasons that some people still remain resistant to social media, and some of them may surprise you.

1. They reflect the generation gap in technology.

“One of the biggest reasons I see for people not using social media is related to generational differences,” says Dean Hebert, MEd, MGCP, an applied sports psychology coach who also teaches psychology courses for University of Phoenix at the Phoenix Main Campus.

“As a mental-game-coaching professional, I work with people of all ages, and see a pretty broad spectrum of social media use. My clients in their teens, twenties and even early thirties often don’t respond to email or pick up the telephone at all, but will do text chatting on Facebook — while my clients in their forties and older tend to prefer connecting via email and phone.”

2. They’re concerned about privacy.

While the Facebook and Twitter® age has made it commonplace for people to follow your every move — even your every thought — in real-time online, not everyone is comfortable with that. “Some people really do not want their personal business broadcast to the world,” says Hebert. “So they either don’t use social media at all, or they use it very sparingly. Speaking for myself, I use Facebook more as a means of direct communication with my younger clients; I don’t post anything personal on it.”

3. They don’t want to commit the time.

Another reason some people might choose to stop using social media (or not even start in the first place) has to do with time management. “Social media can be a real time-sucker,” says Hebert. “It can even be addictive. Some people find themselves constantly pulled into it, trying to keep up with what all their friends are doing and posting, that it spills over into their personal lives and causes problems. That can lead people to take social media breaks, or even to shut down their accounts.”

4. They’ve had a bad experience.

While some people are reluctant to even start using social media, others decide to pull back or stop using it altogether after bad online experiences. “I’ve seen people, especially young women, stop using social media after they’ve been victimized by online flame wars or harassment,” says Hebert. “They feel like they’ve been burned by the technology and become very gun-shy about using it. The same applies to people who feel like their privacy has been violated.”

5. They’re moving on to the next big thing.

Just as formerly popular platforms MySpace™ and LiveJournal™ have become passé, the same can happen to current social media darlings. “The tipping point,” says Hebert, “where people stop using social media and move on to the next big thing will vary by individual.”

Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.
Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter Inc.
MySpace is a trademark of Specific Media LLC.
LiveJournal is a trademark of LiveJournal Inc.

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