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Have You Given Up On Facebook?

Updated, Feb. 12 7:33 a.m.

Monday’s Daily Download segment explored what it means to “like” something on Facebook, and the trend of people who choose to ditch using Facebook altogether.

Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn of Daily Download joined me for a discussion about how “liking” something evolved from your own small network into a broader phenomenon used for contests and by corporations as marketing gimmicks.

The constant social stream has led many people to take a break from using Facebook.

We’ve been soliciting stories from the anti-Facebook crowd.

One Pennsylvania resident, Erik, was an early adopter, and at first found it to be a great networking tool for friends and family and information sharing.

But after a few years, it soured. He tells us:

I found it to be something that became more of a distraction in my life than a positive addition to it. Far-flung acquaintances that I frankly didn’t need to keep in touch with — their daily updates, cat and baby photos and hourly gripes and status updates became static in my brain.

As a parent of toddlers, I also found it to be a very “LOOK AT ME” world, where people indulge their narcissistic side with reckless abandon. (I get enough of that at home.)

Leaving Facebook (now three years) was incredibly liberating and has helped me embrace more of a “be here now” approach to life. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.

And out in San Francisco, an attorney named Alexis found herself going down a “rabbit hole” of photos.

I felt like it gave me a false sense of being in touch with or connected to people. Like because I was seeing an old college friend’s updates I actually knew what was going on with her.

It cheapened friendship for me — if you want to know what’s going on with someone you should talk to them directly. Have to say all this was heightened after seeing the Facebook movie and feeling like I didn’t want this anti-social guy dictating how I socialized.

A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that Alexis and Erik are not alone. In fact, 61 percent of those surveyed said they had taken a voluntary break from Facebook.

We want to hear from you. Consider this an open thread for discussion.

Tell us your story — did you give up on Facebook? Why? How was the break? What did you learn from the experience?

We’re getting a lot of great comments below. And here’s a few we spotted on Twitter.

And watch our discussion below.

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