Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

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


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.



10 life-changing apps you've never heard of


10 ways to unplug and digitally detox your life


'Why I quit Facebook, and you should too'


Increase productivity and manage your time better with this handy infographic


The 10 routine changes that are proven to make you happier


10 things that are scientifically proven to make you unhappy



Bake Off fans, the BBC has already found a replacement show for GBBO

And it's set to hit our televisions very soon...

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Costa’s fancy new menu includes avocado toast and Prosecco

You may want to dress up for the world’s poshest Costa…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Real-life victims of revenge porn share their stories

“Within a week, everyone had seen them… I tried to kill myself shortly after”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

People diagnosed with a terminal illness share powerful life lessons

“You only get one life – and we need to live it”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

This gin is officially the best in Europe – and it's from the UK

Gin drinkers, take note…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Amazing tasting menus from top UK restaurants for under £50

Total steals from Michelin-starred spots

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

9 hilarious tips for making it in a male-dominated workplace

"Never say anything that sounds like a question, even questions."

by Harriet Hall
20 Oct 2016

Easy hack makes cheap wine taste just as good as the expensive stuff

We’ll raise a glass to that…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Revealed: the 10 most talked-about foods on social media

Snap these yummy treats to boost your Instagram following…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

We have exciting news about London’s naked restaurant…

Nudists rejoice…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016