Technology and Humanity//

Facebook is Poking the Heck Out Of People Who Stop Using Their Accounts

The social network doesn’t appreciate being ghosted.

Facebook recently lost a million daily users, and apparently the social media giant hasn’t been taking the abandonment well.

Rishi Gorantala, who deleted his Facebook app about a year ago, told Bloomberg he’s since been receiving “aggressive” emails from the company trying to win him back. Last September, Gorantala said the company started sending him messages, “essentially trying to trick” him into logging on by hinting that someone else had been trying to access his account.

“It looks like you’re having trouble logging into Facebook,” the emails read. “Just click the button below and we’ll log you in.” Other users added that they’d receive this security prompt every few days if they hadn’t logged onto the site, according to Bloomberg tech reporter Sarah Frier.

A Facebook spokesperson defended the company, saying in an email to Bloomberg that the security emails are “not a re-engagement tactic.”

The news of Facebook’s user decline — the first quarterly drop in the company’s history — comes shortly after Mark Zuckerberg’s January announcement that the company would be changing its News Feed in an effort to prioritize users’ well-being. The changes may explain the decrease in user engagement, because people are spending less time watching viral videos and reading articles.

Since the reformulation, the company has reduced the amount of time people spend on the social media platform by approximately 50 million hours per day, Zuckerberg said in Facebook’s fourth quarter earnings report.

While 2017 was a “hard year,” Zuckerberg maintained that “focusing on meaningful connections” will strengthen both the company and the community in the long run.

Still, Facebook and other platforms have given us plenty of reasons to seek meaningful connections elsewhere. Studies have shown that excessive Facebook usage can lead to “depression, anxiety, body image and disordered eating and even alcohol use.” And with 69 percent of U.S. adults on social media and the average U.S. smartphone user touching their device 2,617 times a day, it’s important for those who want to put a little distance between themselves and social media to be allowed to do so without feeling pressured to re-connect.

Read more at Bloomberg

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