Social media has no doubt become an addiction that many of us can’t seem to shake. But how much would it take for you to log out for up to a year?

A study that wished to explore what it would take to get people off social media analyzed Facebook and its value to its users. The researchers performed auctions and promised to pay people, even for as little as a day, to deactivate their Facebook accounts. The average monetary value to make someone log off for over a year was $1,000 (“Cost to walk away”, 2019).

“Social media, and the internet more broadly, have changed the way we live and the way we keep in touch with friends and family, but it’s hard to find evidence that the internet has made us richer or more productive at work. We know people must derive tremendous value from Facebook or they wouldn’t spend millions of hours on the site every day. The challenge is how to put a dollar value on a service people don’t even pay for,” stated Jay Corrigan, a professor in economics and one of the study’s authors (“Cost to walk away”, 2019).

The auction had a mix of college students and adults from Midwestern towns. The average to log off for a day was around $4.00, but to log off for a week, it jumped to $37.00. College students and younger adults placed more value on social media, and thus needed more monetary compensation to log off their accounts – some would even refuse to bid, unwilling to take any money to deactivate their social media temporarily (“Cost to walk away”, 2019).

“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,” stated the authors (“Cost to walk away”, 2019).

Reference: Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. (2018, December 19). Cost to walk away from Facebook for a year? More than $1,000, new study finds: Real-life auctions reveal consistent value for users that exceeds Facebook market value. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 6, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181219142558.htm