In the new era, it's become perfectly acceptable to raise whatever identity flag you want on social media, be it a pretty LGBTQ one, an old Cleveland Browns one (no shame), or a urine soaked white bed sheet one with a few holes in it and a pointy tip. 

Because everyone has an equal say online, no matter if the conversation is civil or devolves into a grunting match between who's more racist — actual racists or just some 12-year-old who accidentally retweeted Alex Jones.

But for a lot of people from ages 18-27, that shit just doesn't fly anymore. The pressures of trying to impress 3 billion people all over the world have just become too much, many finding there's a civil peace outside of the smartphone. This at least according to PEW Research Center, which recently found that 44 percent of U.S. adults in that age bracket have either adjusted their privacy settings to rid themselves of the suck, or deleted the app entirely.

The news can't be good for the social media behemoth that's found itself in a few precarious situations over the past calendar year.

graphic - Facebook break - data

Furthermore, young people are increasingly taking self-described "vacations" away from social media, too — almost half saying they'll avoid it for several weeks or more to clear their heads.

graphic - delete Facebook statistics

What's more, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which it was found the company was selling sensitive data to God knows who in Russia or wherever, only 9 percent of Facebook users downloaded exactly what data was being shared. BUT, almost half of the people that did do that, were scared enough they deleted their accounts entirely. Seventy-nine percent of those left, well, they decided to change their privacy settings to lock up what no one really needs to see anwyay.

The long and short of it? Facebook, and social media in general, have a lot of soul-searching to do in order to make things right again. The downside, is people just now growing old enough to be on social media or those brave souls still left navigating the typhoons of inappropriate behavior could be tricked into thinking most people in the world act like raving mad terrible lunatics or gold-shitting virtue deities who crumble at the thought of an opposing idea.

Maybe instead go say "hi" to your actual, real life neighbor today. You might be surprised at who you find.

Clearly, you're not alone in doing just that.

[cover photo Daniel Páscoa via Unsplash]