Facebook, the online social grid, could not command loyalty forever. If you ask around, as I did, you’ll find quitters. One person shut down her account because she disliked how nosy it made her. Another thought the scene had turned desperate. A third feared stalkers. A fourth believed his privacy was compromised. A fifth disappeared without a word.
The exodus is not evident from the site’s overall numbers. According to comScore, Facebook attracted 87.7 million unique visitors in the United States in July. But while people are still joining Facebook and compulsively visiting the site, a small but noticeable group are fleeing — some of them ostentatiously.
Our modern society is composed of trends.
In order to make anything profit in our low-margin times, we need a giant crowd rushing in.
So we do whatever is required to get them there. This involves dumbing down and tolerating lowest common denominator behavior.
Then, that drives away the movers and shakers, often unacknowledged technology early adopters, who realize (a) the reality never lived up to the hype (b) the few functions they do need are available with lower involvement elsewhere and (c) the idiots have ruined the trend itself.
So while Facebook isn't losing people in terms of numbers, it's losing an important social group it needs, and that's the signal of its long plunge into past trend status.