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“I was a typical user, on it once or twice a day,” she says. “After a certain point, I sort of resented how it felt like an obligation rather than fun.”

Besides Facebook resisters and quitters, there are those who take a break. In some cases, people quit temporarily as they apply for new jobs, so that potential employers won’t stumble on photos of their wild nights out drinking. Although Facebook doesn’t make it easy to find, it offers an option for suspending accounts (Look for a link under the “Security” tab in “Account Settings.”)

Goldschmitt says it takes effort to stay in touch with friends and relatives without Facebook. For instance, she has to make mental notes of when her friends are expecting babies, knowing that they have become so used to Facebook “that they don’t engage with us anymore.”

“I’m like, `Hmmm, when is nine months?’ I have to remember to contact them since they won’t remember to tell me when the baby’s born.”

Neil Robinson, 54, a government lawyer in Washington, says that when his nephew’s son was born, pictures went up on Facebook almost immediately. As a Facebook holdout, he had to wait for someone to email photos.

After years of resisting, Robinson plans to join next month, mostly because he doesn’t want to lose touch with younger relatives who choose Facebook as their primary means of communication.

But for every Robinson, there is an Edelstein, who has no desire for Facebook and prefers email and postcards.

“I prefer to keep my communications personal and targeted,” says Jake Edelstein, 41, a pharmaceutical consultant in New York. “You’re getting a message that’s written for you. Clearly someone took the time to sit down to do it.”

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Associated Press Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta and News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius in Washington contributed this report.

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Online:

AP site on poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com

CNBC site on poll: http://www.cnbc.com/id/47390543

Link for suspending an account (log-in required):

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