We all know that we spend more time than we should on Facebook. After Facebook conducted a controversial experiment to see if they were able to manipulated people’s emotions (which they were), more people began to question whether being on the site so much was a good idea. From this questioning, an idea was born. Called 99 Days of Freedom, a campaign was launched to try to get everyone to quit Facebook for 99 days. The theory behind the quitting is that those who do quit will be happier by having a positive personal experience free from the website.
While it doesn’t appear the idea is catching on (of the over 1 billion active Facebook members, less than 15,000 have actually committed to leaving the site for three months), that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good idea. In fact, there are some compelling reasons to quit Facebook for 99 days, and even longer. Here are a few of them:
It Makes Us Sadder
Although the people who set of the 99 Days to Freedom challenge say they thought it would make people happier, it was just a hunch on their part, and they are going to let the results from those who participate determine the outcome. The thing is, their hunch is backed up by some research as well. A study done last year found Facebook makes us sadder and less satisfied. The more people used the site, the worse they ended up feeling. It would seem to reason if this is true, we would be happier once we get it out of our lives.
It’s an Infectious Disease
Not only does Facebook make you sadder and less satisfied in your life, in many ways it acts like an infectious disease. While the disease isn’t likely to kill you in this instance, you’re likely to quit it in the coming years anyway, so why not free yourself from its clutches a bit earlier than the rest?
Time is a valuable commodity, and wasting it comes with a cost. For example, cutting down on the time you spend watching TV can have a number of financial benefits. With the average person spending 17 minutes of their day browsing pages on Facebook, quitting for 99 days would give you 28 hours of additional free time to do the things which are really important to you. Quit for a year and you have gained nearly 5 days of valuable time.
They Are Experimenting on Us
The reason the challenge was developed in the first place was because Facebook is manipulating your emotions. Do you really want a social network website trying to dictate the way you feel each day? While trying to influence our emotions is one way they are attempting to manipulate us, you can be pretty sure they are experimenting on us a lot of other ways as well.
Add all these things up and there really should be a lot more than 15,000 taking this challenge. Chances are, you’re one of them.
(Photo courtesy of mkhmarketing)