The “99 Days of Freedom” social experiment: try life without Facebook

Those who think Facebook is too intrusive and want to get out of its blue social media trap are encouraged to partake in a Facebook mood experiment, launched by Just B.V., a creative communications agency from the Netherlands. The goal of the effort is to discover if people actually become happier without Facebook.

Photo: The 99 Days of Freedom experiment

The non-profit initiative comes as a response to Facebook’s recent controversial psychological experiment that engaged around 700,000 unwitting users to see how they react when more positive and negative content appear in their feeds. The latest initiative running under the “99 Days of Freedom” tagline prompts users to abandon Facebook for 99 days.

Users can proceed to the dedicated website, where they discover a set of simple instructions that will help a person dive in the non-Facebook experience. For instance, those who join in are invited to download a special “99 days of freedom” profile image and also share the last suggested link (at least, for the time of the experiment).

Once users signed in, they will be asked to complete anonymous “happiness surveys” on the 33th, 66th and 99ths days, and their feedback will be highlighted on the website. Participants will also be able to share their insights into the lives without Facebook on the website anonymously, telling the world how this experience reshapes their existence. The team behind the project is sure that 99 days is quite enough to help form a new positive habit.

The press release states that “according to Facebook, it’s 1.2 billion users spend an average of 17 minutes per day on the site, reading updates, following links or browsing photos. Over a three-month period, that ads-up to more than 28-hours which, the initiative’s creators contend, could be devoted to more emotionally fulfilling activities—learning a new skill, performing volunteer work or spending time (offline) with friends and family.”