We’ve written in this magazine before about how facebook has changed our lives and the way we understand communication and friendship. Love it or hate it, fb can be a useful tool if you use it sensibly but… do you remember what living without facebook was like? Meeting up with your friends everyday, in real life and actually face to face, not checking your phone or feeling the need to let everyone know where you are or sharing your thoughts every 10 minutes? Sharing experiences online is great, but is it the same if no one is really there? How much do you miss of what is happening all around you while you are on the phone?
Would you quit facebook for three months if it meant that you’d be a happier person? Would you like to come off facebook so you can enjoy this summer holiday for real, but you don’t have the willpower?
I am afraid the only way of finding out whether there is a life outside of facebook or not, is to force yourself to stop using the social media platform for a while.
The non-profit organization Just can help you if you want to try! This project is called 99 Days of Freedom and it was launched by Netherlands-based creative agency Just. 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 spend more quality time with your family.
99 Days of Freedom is a reaction to the news that fb is indeed using the data we provide it and the comments we leave to study us. You can read here about fb’s experiment on you.
The creators of this project do not even ask you to delete your profile forever (which sounds pretty scary); instead, they invite users to log off facebook for 99 days, replace their profile photo with a “time off” image, start a countdown clock, and take time each month to consider whether they might actually be happier offline.
Will you accept the challenge?
Check up (verb) : an examination to see if everything is in order.
Willpower (noun): self-control and determination.
Countdown (noun): the act of counting backwards.