More and More Social Media Users Are Deleting Their Accounts
It’s quite a year for social media. After countless scandals involving massive social media companies, more and more users are deactivating their accounts. In the past year, Facebook has become one of the most hated tech companies, repeatedly betraying the trust of its billions of users. However, Twitter and YouTube are beginning to feel the cold shoulder of its users, as their growth has significantly become stagnant due to privacy concerns.
A study by public relations consultancy, Edelman, found that 70% of respondents had a deep-seated lack of trust with social media. Richard Edelman, the company’s CEO, detailed the lack of trust in a statement to CNBC, saying: “We learned that there is a serious lack of confidence in social media in all regions of the world. This is a cry from the heart; people are scared. They are outraged about the violation of their privacy, and uncertain about the truth because of the plague of fake news.”
In the United States, trust in social media has dropped by 30%; only 40% of digitally connected people thought that social media was doing a good enough job of controlling the spread of false information and controlling online harassment. An astounding 70% of respondents said they didn’t believe social media companies were doing enough to behave responsibly with personal data.
Users are powering off due to the seemingly blatant disregard that tech companies have shown with handling personal information. Even millennials, an age group that doesn’t place as much importance on overall privacy, are taking serious issue with information being taken without their consent. This has been displayed numerous times, whether it be massive hacks wracking companies like Yahoo or the Cambridge Analytica scandal that revealed users data was being used in political elections.
We have entered into an age that is beginning to reveal that we have given more power to massive tech companies that we feel comfortable with. Social media has proven to be a massively powerful force in our modern age, and now we are getting a rude awakening into just how much control these companies have acquired.
Nevertheless, social media isn’t going anywhere. Social media has given us numerous tools that have made a massively positive impact on our lives, and it has forever changed the landscape of how humans interact with each other. Whether it becomes a more trusted experience is still up in the air.
Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon