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New social experiment challenges you to take a 99-day break from Facebook

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If you can't get yourself to quit Facebook for good, could you take an extended break from the social network instead?

A new experiment is challenging Facebook users to stop using the website for 99 days to see if it brings them more happiness.

The campaign was created by Netherlands-based creative agency Just in response to Facebook's controversial psychology experiment, where for one week in January 2012 the news feeds of some 700,000 unwitting users were skewed either more positively or negatively to see if it changed users' subsequent posts and mood.

The Facebook-detox experiment named '99 Days of Freedom' asks users to replace their profile picture with a 'time-off' image, share a personalised 99-day countdown clock on their wall and then log out.

During the hiatus, participants will be contacted on the 33rd, 66th and 99th day to complete an anonymous survey on happiness.

There is also a message board for people to share how the break is impacting their lives.

According to Facebook, its 1.2 billion users spend an average of 17 minutes per day on the website. Over a three-month period that equals to more than 28 hours.

The experiment's creators feel that this time could be spent on more emotionally fulfilling activities, such as learning a new skill, performing volunteer work or spending time with friends and family in person.

"We think that real happiness happens in real life," said Just's art director Merijn Straathof. "I will always prefer a real compliment over a ‘like’, just as I prefer talking to people in person rather than talking to them on my phone."

The results of the non-profit experiment will be posted on 99daysoffreedom.com as they are compiled.

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