No, this post is not about alcohol-fueled violence and the one-punch legislation. It’s about the trend towards people getting tired of social media, in particular the juggernaut that is Facebook.


For marketers, it has been a wild, roller-coaster ride over the past 6 or so years as they’ve tried to determine how to leverage social media for business.

Some brands have passed with flying colours (eg: National Geographic with over 21M Facebook friends; Lorna Jane with almost 1M fans, and of course Red Bull and Coke to name a few).

However there have also been some epic #fails (eg: BP Oil Spill, HMV firing staff, Cheerio’s getting involved in foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and the list trails on with a long tail).

Digital detox

I’ve recently had a two week break from all social media. A digital detox of sorts. Have I missed it? No. Did I have the urge to check it? Yes.

It’s funny how social media has become ingrained in our life. And like any drug, it’s hard to quit.

Let’s look at some of the Facebook stats:

There are currently over 1.23b active users on Facebook globally

In late 2012 and early 2013, we read a lot about Teens dropping off Facebook. In the US Facebook endured a 29% fall in active users among U.S. Teens from Q4 in 2012. That’s big when you consider that 79% of US Teens were on FB!

And from 2011 to 2014, approximately 3,000,000 Teens left Facebook representing a 25.3% decline in Teen usage.screen-shot-2014-03-19-at-3-42-43-pm

Boomers boom on Facebook with 80% growth

Although lets look at the other end of the age spectrum – Boomers or Grey Power. In the US Boomers have boomed on Facebook big time. To the tune of 80% growth over the last 3 years.

And in Australia Women 55+ are the fastest group taking up social media.

So why are Teens leaving?

Well it’s pretty obvious. If Mum and Nan are on there, then “I’m outta here”

Well maybe it’s uncool for Teens to see their parents so actively involved in Facebook. However maybe it’s also to do with Facebook simply being an application that people get tired of. And fickle Teens who have been on there the longest are leading the way.

When you think about it, Facebook isn’t life or death. It’s not a vital service like water, electricity and gas. Although it does provide an amazing global sharing service to help keep people in touch with their friends across borders and intercity. It’s not a fundamental operating system like iOS or Windows and it’s not infrastructure.

At the end of the day, it’s simply a place where people can go to vent, rant, read, or play with each other. Sort of like a virtual soap box.

And after a while we all get sick of people on their soap-box.

OK I better wrap this post up quickly 😉

Trend away from mobile phone usage

As mobility takes over the world, saturation point is not far away. And as people stare into their mobile device as they walk, talk, eat and even go to the loo, it’s no wonder that human nature is fighting back.

Rogue24 restaurant has banned the use of phones. “It’s just polite”, the head chef says.

Jawdat Ibrahim, owner of the Abu Ghosh restaurant in an Arab village outside Jerusalem, offering a 50% discount late last year if everyone turned off their phone.

Even some hotels are getting in on the act banning phone use during your stay.

And whilst I was in Japan this month, I noticed how people are politely asked to go to the end of the train carriage to use their phones rather than talk in the carriage.

SO……. my hit prediction



Looking into my crystal ball (which is always dangerous), I see people and marketers ultimately moving away from Facebook.

Obviously it has massive scale, so Facebook isn’t going to die. Just as email never died!

However as marketers fail to develop real social media strategies, that are targeted to engage a specific audience based on relevance, value and lifecycle understanding, then it won’t be sustainable.

Short term mentality will prevail in Facebook for a few years to come, however by 2016 we will have witnessed a dramatic shift away.

My hit prediction, is that this will be fueled by small businesses which are already walking away from Facebook due to the need to promote posts in order to gain visibility in their fan’s status stream.

While one goes down, another will go up. Get into LinkedIn!

Or will social media fatigue finally kick in and drive us all back to a non-digital, earthy existence?