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article imageFacebook controversial study sparks new experiment Special

By Wendy Spickerman     Jul 9, 2014 in Science
It’s a small experiment where we ask people to take a break from Facebook and report to us how they feel and how they spend their free time.
On July 8, 2014, I received an email about one of my latest articles, “Facebook Experiment Puts Users at Risk” published out with on July 1, 2014. The email asked me a simple question, “Would you be interested in covering a story on a new experiment?”
The email crossed the great divide of the Atlantic Ocean and made its way to me from The Netherlands. “We have started a small Facebook experiment of our own to see if people aren’t really much happier if they stop using Facebook,” explained Merijn Straasthof, Director of Just Art’s.
After looking over the information given to me and asking a few of my own questions about the study, I knew this breaking news was just right for Digital Journal. It was something people needed to be informed about and I agreed to cover the story.
Interview with Merijn Straasthof
My first question that I was most interested in knowing was, “How many people they were looking for to do this study?”
Ultimately we want to match the 689,000 users that Facebook used in its study. However, we realize that’s a huge number. For now, we are focusing on the 1,000 mark. Things are looking very good.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, I believe the study is asking people to do this for 99 days however, it was stated “for as long as one wishes”. Will you be including that information in your final report on how many people stopped earlier than expected; along with their reasons why they declined to continue?
We are asking people to join for 99 days. We are aware that this is a very long period. We don’t want to discourage people therefore we ask them to join and see how far they go. Anyone who joins the experiment will be asked if they are still logged out of Facebook (since we cannot monitor this). If people do not go as far as 99 days, we will know what made them return earlier to the site."
99 Days of Freedom
Anyone can sign up for this case study with the hopes to answer one question, “Are you happier without Facebook?”
In a press release that went out of July 8, 2014, Straathof stated, “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 are all fiery loyal users and we believe that there’s a lot to love about the service.
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.”
How to Join 99 Days of Freedom
If interested in joining in the study all one needs to do is click on the link 99 Days to Freedom. It’s a three step process, very quick and simply. We here at Digital Journal will be following the case study and will be keeping you, the public informed of the results as they come out. Results will be released at 33 Days, 66 Days and 99 Days. Happy experimenting, folks.
More about 99 Days of Freedom, Facebook, Emotional Case Study, Merijn Straasthof, Social media
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