TIME Internet

This Campaign Will Help You Quit Facebook for 99 Days

Social Networking Sites May Be Monitored By Security Services
Dan Kitwood—Getty Images Display of browser at Facebook.com (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

This will teach Facebook to mess with emotions

Can’t go 10 minutes without checking Facebook? How would you feel about giving it up for 99 days? This Dutch non-profit wants you to do just that.

“99 Days of Freedom,” a non-profit initiative from Dutch creative agency Just, wants participants to abstain from the social network for more than three months and participate in “happiness surveys” to see if their mood improves as a result.

Just’s Art Director, Merijn Straathof, explained that the project came from brainstorming after news of Facebook’s controversial mood experiments went viral. “As we discussed it internally, we noted an interesting tendency: To a person, everyone had at least a ‘complicated’ relationship with Facebook,” Straathof said. “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!’”

Given that Facebook’s 1.2 billion users spend an average of 17 minutes on the site a day, Just estimates that 99 Days’ participants will save 28 hours of wasted time over three months. The non-profit’s directors suggest using that time to volunteer, learn a new skill or post to the group’s message board about what they’re doing with their Facebook-free time.

And while 99 days without Facebook may seem like an eternity to some, Straathof and his team do not mean for the experiment to be permanent. The group does not even ask participants to delete their profiles but rather post a “time-off” profile picture for the duration of the Facebook fast.

“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.”

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team