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Some People Would Need at Least $1,000 to Ditch Facebook

Though 2018 had many people thinking about deleting Facebook, some are in too deep, and would need some serious cash to cut the cord with Zuckerberg and Co.

This story originally appeared on PCMag

The average Facebook user in the U.S. would need to be paid about $1,000 to walk away from the social media giant for one year.

via PC Mag

Researchers at Kenyon College, Michigan State, Susquehanna University, and Tufts worked out, via a series of auctions, how much it would take for people to leave the platform, according to a study published by science Journal PLOS One. While many users were willing to step away from Facebook for a shorter period of time for a much smaller sum -- $1.84 for one hour, $15.73 for three days, or $38.83 for one week -- the price rapidly went up as time increased.

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Gender, age, income, and the number of other social networking sites participants used did not have an impact on people's willingness to accept a certain amount of cash to dump Facebook. Those who tend to post a lot of status updates or use Facebook to invite people to events were most attached to it and wanted more cash to jump ship. Those who posted photos more often "placed a lower value on Facebook," the report finds.

"Auction participants faced real financial consequences, so had an incentive to seriously consider what compensation they would want to close their accounts for a set period of time and to bid truthfully," Sean B. Cash, an economist at Tufts' Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, said in a statement. "Students placed a higher value on Facebook than community members. A number of participants refused to bid at all, suggesting that deactivating Facebook for a year was not a welcome possibility."

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The social network has given its users a number of reasons to delete Facebook this year, from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and data breaches to more recent revelations of secret data sharing with major partners like Netflix and Amazon. But as researchers noted, Facebook is still the No. 1 social-networking site and the third most visited site on the web behind Google and YouTube, even after the scandals.

"While the measurable impact Facebook and other free online services have on the economy may be small, our results show that the benefits these services provide for their users are large," they said.

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