- 28 Jul 09, 09:16 GMT
People leave Facebook every day so what should we read into the high profile exodus of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and home-making queen Martha Stewart?
Mr Gates said he quit because managing his profile became "way too much trouble". He also said that he had 10,000 people wanting to be his friend and that he really didn't have the time to sift through all those messages. Besides, he really couldn't tell who was the real McCoy when it came to his friends.
During an event in India, Mr Gates revealed that despite the amazing benefits that the digital revolution has wrought, some technology could turn out to be a real time-waster.
I am not sure if he remembered that Microsoft ploughed a considerable amount of investment into the social networking site or not.
While Bill might have removed his Facebook page, this very fun mock-up by PC World is worth a look.
And another well-kent figure has followed in Mr Gates' footsteps.
America's so-called domestic goddess Martha Stewart talked to the Daily Beast and said "I'm not knocking Facebook. We use both Facebook and Twitter (at Martha Stewart Organisation). They're very different tools, and I personally don't use Facebook. I prefer Twitter as a means of mass communication - it's the Wal-Mart of the internet."
She also said that the reason she prefers the micro-blogging service is that "I don't have to 'befriend' and do all that other dippy stuff that they do on Facebook."
On Twitter, Ms Stewart has over 1.1 million followers. But despite feigning social media nous, Ms Stewart must not be aware that Twitter has a rough worldwide band of users numbering 40 million while Facebook boasts over 260 million.
Twitter might be less hassle but if you want to reach the biggest possible audience, surely being on Facebook makes business sense at least? Or why not both, especially when it seems you have "staff" to take care of the task of posting on the site?
Perhaps the decision of Mr Gates and Ms Stewart to give up on Facebook speaks to something that affects the human psyche.
"While many users are very engaged, perhaps for some people it has become a place that is too noisy and cluttered," said internet analyst Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence.
On a more philosophical level, Mr Sterling told me:
"This reveals something that is hard to articulate, which is that maybe there are limits that have been reached by these people.
"It's the same if you go away for a weekend and there is no internet and pretty soon you realise there is a lot of stuff that is way more important that all the technology you are so involved in. People have to remember these are tools to communicate with and not confuse them with things in our life like our real world communities."
Less prosaically, I have a friend who has also quit Facebook for a pretty simple reason. In an e-mail, she told me "it feels like it's so over?"
For her at least, and for Bill and Martha, it is.
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