Sure, it’s easy to say you’ll quit Facebook. Even without the most recent changes, its sheer size and near-ubiquity is enough to make the more paranoid amongst us want to opt-out. After all, the world existed for billions of years before Facebook; certainly life would continue to be just fine without it.
This is true. Still, quitting Facebook is much more difficult than it sounds. After all, what happens when someone sends you a link to a photo, video or conversation, but requires a Facebook login to see? Facebook is unique in its broad social reach. Unlike earlier social networks like LiveJournal, Friendster or MySpace, Facebook isn’t just for younger users. Despite getting its start on college campuses, Facebook is now just as popular amongst adolescents as it is with Baby Boomers.
That broad social reach means cutting the service out of your life is easier said than done. Sure, it’s fun to say “I’ll delete my account and never log in again,” but as soon my cousin posts photos of her new baby and makes those photos only visible on Facebook… well, that kind of kills my resolve.