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Facebook status: depressed.

Byline: Susan Lee

REGULAR facebook users spend an average of 23 hours on the site every month.

That's an arresting statistic - and an awful lot of time spent staring at a small screen when there are so many other, better things to do in life.

Now, it appears, a great many people have discovered those other, better things and are logging off for good.

New figures show that 100,000 British users pulled the plugs on their accounts in May, mirroring the six million who have logged off in the US.

How interesting and, to be honest, how heartening.

Facebook is a fabulous tool to keep up with friends, swap information and photos, play games, have a laugh.

But I've long been uncomfortable with folk who use it to broadcast every intimate detail of their lives, to pour out their troubles and worries to cyberspace.

I find it intrusive, vaguely sad and verging on the attention seeking. Why not speak to a real person, a friend, rather than write your misery large to the world? Facebook has also moved away from its ethos as a social networking site and has rapidly become an advertising medium, so I get 'friend' requests from carpet companies, security firms, shops.

It's as irritating as telephone cold calling and anyway, who wants to be a friends with a rug? I don't for a moment think facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is having sleepless nights over his facebook losses but as with all social phenomena you have to be careful that the pendulum doesn't swing too far the opposite way.

Trends are only trendy while they last. Then they become yesterday's news.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2011
Words:275
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