Here's Why You Can't Give Up Facebook

If you've ever thought about deleting your Facebook, you are certainly not alone, but for whatever reason, most of us usually decide to keep our accounts. According to science, though, there's a reason you keep Facebook around — or rather, four main reasons. But the point is that your Facebook dependence is understandable — so don't feel bad that you can't bring yourself to give it up for good.

Facebook is the world's largest social media site with 1.55 billion monthly active users. Just about everyone I know has an account on it. But it's possible Facebook is, in some ways a victim of its own success: It's much less popular with younger Americans, probably at least in part because their parents also use it.

And yet, even though fewer and fewer young people think of Facebook as cool, despite studies that say it could have negative effects on our mental health, and despite the fact that we could all probably find better uses for our time, most people keep using the social media site. So why is it so rare for someone to delete their Facebook? Well, research has the answer.

According to a new paper published by researchers at Cornell Information Science, there are a few main reasons why people choose to keep their Facebook. The researchers looked at people who tried to participate in a challenge to stay off Facebook for 99 days but failed and discovered four main reasons why it's so hard for us to give up our accounts.

Here's what those four reasons are:

1. Perceived Addiction

People who feel that they are addicted to Facebook or whose Facebook use is habitual are much less likely to get rid of their accounts, even when they try to cut the social network out of their life. Basically, feeling like Facebook is a normal part of your day, even if you're not all that into it anymore, makes you less likely to get rid of it.

2. Surveillance

People who think that people are monitoring their Facebook behavior are more likely to quit using Facebook, but people who use Facebook to manage their image are more likely to stay.

3. Subjective Mood

When people are in a good mood, they are less likely to want to log onto Facebook. Basically, if you're genuinely happy offline, you feel less compelled to talk about it online.

4. Lack Of Other Social Media

People who use other social media platforms are more likely to successfully ditch Facebook — which makes sense when you think about it. Social media is so popular precisely because it provides people with an outlet and a platform for their thoughts, and it connects us to the world and people around us. It's hard to give up your only medium for all that. But if you have other platforms, that's a whole different story.

So there you have it: That's why you haven't deleted your account yet. But hey, as long as you make judicious use of it, Facebook can also be good for us. With great power comes great responsibility, right?

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