16 July 2014, 16:21

99 days without Facebook? Do you dare?

99 days without Facebook? Do you dare?

Just imagine – no Facebook for 99 days. A Dutch nonprofit ad agency Just B.V. has urged Facebook users to quit the social network as part of 99 Days of Freedom campaign and later take part in happiness surveys taken at the 33-, 66- and 99-days to monitor progress.The results will then be posted on the campaign's website. Participants will also share messages on their progress on the group's website through an anonymous message board.

The campaign is one of many responses to Facebook's experiment to deliberately manipulate the News Feed of over 689,000 users without notifying them to determine if showing certain types of content could change their overall emotions for purposes of an academic study, Forbes reports. As the experiment went public, many users were furious.

"Like a lot of Facebook users, many of us were bothered by reports of secret mood experiments," says Just's art director, Merijn Straathof, in a press 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!' ”

To begin the 99-day challenge is simple: download an image of the campaign's logo, a blue box with the words "99 Days of Freedom" written inside of it. Then, share your final post. The last step, for many, could be the hardest – don't use Facebook for 99 days. Straathof says this experiment is not anti-Facebook at all. It is rather to get people back to real life – a sort of digital detox.

"Facebook is an incredible platform, we’re all fiercely loyal users and we believe that there's a lot to love about the service," says Straathof in the release. "But we also feel that there are obvious emotional benefits to moderation."

According to statistics, Facebook’s 1.2 billion users spend an average of 17 minutes per day on the social network

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