Deborah Lupton Looks at Why More People Don’t Exit Facebook

Given the issues that swirling around Facebook – and here’s a handy list of 16 of them – you might wonder why users don’t more often just pack up and move away from the world’s most-used social media platform (which may go some way in answering the question already).

This question animated Deborah Lupton, a sociologist with the Vitalities Lab of the Centre for Social Research in Health and Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, and Clare Southerton, a postdoctoral research fellow at the lab. In March, their paper, “The thing-power of the Facebook assemblage: Why do users stay on the platform?” appeared in the Journal of Sociology and detailed seven case studies of Australian Facebook users and what drove them to stay, go or take a break from Facebook.

In the video below, the first of the Journal of Sociology Author Interview series, Associate Editor Brady Robards talks to Lupton about this staying power, a subject even more timely since this video first appeared in March.

One quick takeaway – the people Lupton and Southerton talked to were not unduly fussed about things like privacy or being exploited by Facebook, and yet those in turn are the big issues that drive negative coverage of the platform. What did drive thoughts of departing was ending the time-suck or frustration with other people’s oversharing.

The Journal of Sociology is published in association with The Australian Sociological Association.

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