Eric P. S. Baumer, Patrick Skeba, Shion Guha, and Geri Gay. (2019). All Users are (Not) Created Equal: Predictors Vary for Different Forms of Facebook Non/use. Proceedings of the ACM Human-Computer Interaction 2, CSCW.
Relatively little work has empirically examined use and non-use of social technologies as more than a dichotomous binary, despite increasing calls to do so. This paper compares three different forms of non/use that might otherwise fall under the single umbrella of Facebook “user”: (1) those who have a current active account; (2) those who have deactivated their account; and (3) those who have considered deactivating but not actually done so. A subset of respondents (N=256) from a larger, demographically representative sample of internet users completed measures for usage and perceptions of Facebook, Facebook addiction, privacy experiences and behaviors, and demographics. Multinomial logistic regression modeling shows four specific variables as most predictive of a respondent’s type: negative effects from “addictive” use, subjective intensity of Facebook usage, number of Facebook friends, and familiarity with or use of Facebook’s privacy settings. These findings both fill gaps left by, and help resolve conflicting expectations from, prior work. Furthermore, they demonstrate how valuable insights can be gained by disaggregating “users” based on different forms of engagement with a given technology.