Love it or hate it, Facebook has become part of our everyday lives: More than 802 million people log on daily and spend valuable time on the site. But if a three-month break from all your Facebook friends, photos, and posts meant you’d be happier, could you do it?
Facebook recently admitted to holding a secret and controversial mood experiment in which it tinkered with users’ news feeds to determine whether it could change their emotional state.
Researchers found that when Facebook showed users more positive posts, they were more likely to share positive status messages. When Facebook showed users more negative posts, they were more likely to share negative status messages. Almost 700,000 Facebook users unknowingly enrolled in the experiment, upsetting many people and prompting a Federal Trade Commission complaint.
After these findings, a Dutch advertising company issued the infamous challenge: Can you go 99 days without Facebook?
“In response to Facebook’s controversial mood experiment involving some 700,000 unwitting users, we present you 99 Days of Freedom; an online study on how life without Facebook impacts user happiness. Joining is very simple: follow our three-step instruction to join the experiment for as long as you like. We can’t wait to hear how you spend your time off,” states the welcoming note on the group’s website.
The agency behind the effort claims a three-month break from the social network site will not only make you happier but will save you 28 hours of time, as the network estimates users spend about 17 minutes a day checking posts, posting photos, liking posts, following links and updating their Facebook status.
So for those taking the challenge, there are so many ways to make good on that time saved. After all, 28 hours is more than a weekly part-time job, it breaks down to about an hour a day for an entire month, or 1,680 minutes of “free time” you now have at your disposal.
Good luck to all those who attempt to try it!