How Happy Would You Be After 99 Days Without Facebook?

How would you like to turn the tables on Facebook? Chances are you weren’t one of the 689,003 people that Facebook manipulated emotionally during the now infamous 2012 experiment. But you could have been, and Facebook is not sharing the list of human guinea pigs. And you probably feel a bit creeped out by Facebook’s […]

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How would you like to turn the tables on Facebook?

Chances are you weren’t one of the 689,003 people that Facebook manipulated emotionally during the now infamous 2012 experiment.

But you could have been, and Facebook is not sharing the list of human guinea pigs.

And you probably feel a bit creeped out by Facebook’s ongoing social engineering, especially given all you know that the social network knows about your likes, opinions and daily habits.

So how about joining an experiment you can control? Stop using Facebook for 99 days to test “how life without Facebook impacts user happiness.”

The experiment is the brainchild of Just, a creative communications agency based in The Netherlands. Opting in is simple at 99daysoffreedom.com:

  • Change your profile picture to the 99 Days of Freedom logo
  • Create your 99 day countdown clock and share it on Facebook
  • Log out of the social network and delete all your mobile Facebook apps

If you are an average Facebook user, you’ll have an extra 28 hours over the three months to spend on other matters. Go hiking, learn a new skill, hang out with friends and family (offline).

People who sign up will be asked to completed anonymous “happiness surveys” at the 33, 66 and 99 day marks. There is also a message board for participants to share thoughts about how their Facebook free time is affecting them.

The idea for the experiment was sparked by an office joke, Just’s art director Merijn Straathof said in a release:

“As we discussed it internally, we noted an interesting tendency: To a person, everyone had at least a ‘complicated’ relationship with Facebook. Whether it was being tagged in unflattering photos, getting into arguments with other users or simply regretting time lost through excessive use, there was a surprising degree of negative sentiment. Then someone joked, ‘I guess that the real question is, ‘How do you feel when you don’t use Facebook?’ There was group laughter, followed by, ‘Wait a second. That’s a really good question!”.

Straathof stressed that the effort isn’t a protest or an attempt to harm Facebook’s business.

“Facebook is an incredible platform, we’re all fiercely loyal users and we believe that there’s a lot to love about the service,” Straathof said. “But we also feel that there are obvious emotional benefits to moderation. Our prediction is that the experiment will yield a lot of positive personal experiences and, 99 days from now, we’ll know whether that theory has legs.”



 


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About the author

Martin Beck
Contributor
Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

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