HealthBeat

HealthBeat

The Facebook disease

Well, it’s official: Facebook-ing is a disease.

Researchers at Princeton University used epidemiological models – the methods used to study the rapid spread of disease – to investigate Facebook usage.

Their conclusion? Facebook has “already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase,” according to an NBC News article.

Researchers predict Facebook will lose 80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017, according to the article.

Researchers pointed to similar research done with ideas to explain why social networks are like infectious diseases:

Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological model … Idea manifesters ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of “immunity” to the idea.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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