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Some ditch social networks to reclaim time, privacy - is it a fluke or trend?

Marco R. della Cava • Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM

According to USA Today, Facebook says it has 400 million active users worldwide. Make that 399,999,999. Laura LeNoir is done."I feel better, I feel lighter, I got my privacy back," says LeNoir, 42, an office manager at an educational software company in Birmingham, Ala., who logged off a few weeks ago. "People say, 'You'll be back.' But I read more, walk the dogs more. I'll be fine."As the social networking train gathers momentum, some riders are getting off. Their reasons run the gamut from being besieged by online "friends" who aren't really friends to lingering concerns over where their messages and photos might materialize. If there's a common theme to their exodus, it's the nagging sense that a time-sucking habit was taking the "real" out of life.That desire to unplug has made an unexpected success out of websites such as Web 2.0 Suicide Machine and Seppukoo (a play on the Japanese word for "suicide"), free sites that automate and turbocharge the otherwise laborious manual process of scrapping your online self.Read the full report at the USA Today Web site.

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