WASHINGTON, January 25, 2015 — Facebook may be fun, but does it create actual happiness? Seems a study conducted by a non-profit “99 Days of Freedom” shows that most of us actually have a ‘complicated relationship’ in regard to the social networking giant.
Whether it was being tagged in unflattering photos, getting into arguments with other users, or simply regretting time lost through excessive use, there seems to be a surprising degree of negative sentiment. In which increased (with a multitude of users deleting profiles) after Facebooks controversial mood manipulation study.
So the subsequent question was posed “If Facebook is adding this new layer of drama to your already maxed-out plethora of emotions, how do you feel when you don’t use Facebook?”
The non-profit “99 Days of Freedom,” created the social experiment by asking users to refrain from Facebook use for a period of 99 consecutive days and report-back on how the hiatus affects personal notions of happiness.
The website provides a set of simple user instructions, which include posting a “time-off” image as a profile picture and starting a personalized, 99-day countdown clock. From there, participants are asked to complete anonymous “happiness surveys” at the 33, 66 and 99-day marks, with results posted to the initiative’s website as they’re compiled.
The initiative will also host a message board through which participants can post anonymous accounts of how an extended break from Facebook is impacting their lives.
17 Minutes a Day
A cursory look at Facebook usage stats certainly supports the question’s legitimacy. 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. What to speak of the roller coaster of emotions a personal Facebook experience can put you through when you are on it.
99 Days is a long time!
The obvious question: Considering the remarkable levels of Facebook use, isn’t 99 days a pretty big ask? Art Director (of parent company Just) Merijn Straathof explains
“We had a lot of arguments about the experiment’s duration. If it’s too extended, participants will lose interest. If it’s too short, there’s no meaningful behavioral change to assess. In the end, we landed on a 99-day program with periodic surveys and posts, hoping that such interaction will serve as a support group of sorts. As everyone at our firm is participating in the experiment, we’ll be testing that one first-hand.”
Although Straathof and his colleagues are eager to see the experiment’s results, he stresses that the initiative is neither an anti-Facebook protest nor an attempt to harm the web’s most popular site.
“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. “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.”
Source: 99 Days
Adam Omkara is a Mind/Body Health and Spiritual luminary who has worked as a consultant and coach to some of the most influential people in the country, including: High Level Politicians– Hollywood Stars- Billboard Musicians- High Profile CEO’s- Award Winning Scientists- Professional Athletes- Sport Team Owners- and a Former Miss Olympia.