It’s no secret that Facebook is having a little bit of trouble in Japan. A recent survey by Aun Consulting showed a drastic decline of almost 11 percent from September 2012 to January this year. But why are Japanese users quitting the incredibly popular global social networking site? Apparently, between all of the selfies showing off your perfect girlfriend, photo albums of that weekend trip to Tahiti and updates on your amazing job, some users are developing an inferiority complex about their lonely, boring and unsatisfying lives.
Psychologist Kouji Yamada has been hearing from patients lately about the anxieties Facebook is giving them. With almost 14 million Japanese users and one in four people in Japan from ages 25 to 64 being a member of the site, it seems like connecting with friends on the social network has become just too much, even though it is supposed to be fun.
It seems like sharing everyone’s intimate moments on Facebook can cause others to feel like their lives are lacking. Even though the idea of the site is to share interesting or fun things with their friends and families, a lot of Japanese users seem to get overwhelmed and upset when seeing all of the glamorous news from their so-called “friends” with whom they are connected.
A 29-year-old Tokyo woman said that she quit Facebook after being on it for two years. She had worried about being able to keep in touch with her friends, but ultimately found that deleting her account made her closer to the friends that she had. The woman says that she prefers to keep in touch with friends through the phone or other social networks like Japan’s LINE and finds that her friendships are better now without having to worry about Facebook.
Other netizens are saying that Facebook isn’t “worth the trouble” any more and that “nothing interesting is left” on the site. And a lot of people think that Facebook has become a place for kids to “brag” about smoking and drinking despite being underage.
So what is the fix to this Facebook problem? Can the social network address Japanese users’ concerns that the site is being taken over by people who brag too much or should netizens get thicker skin?