(USA Today) SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook angered users when it played with their emotions as part of a controversial experiment.
Now Facebook users are turning the tables by experimenting on the giant social network.
"Do you ever wonder what life is like without Facebook?" asks the nonprofit group "99 Days of Freedom."
The nonprofit group started by a creative agency in The Netherlands is urging users all around the globe to give up their Facebook habit for 99 days.
Of course, most people can't give up Facebook for Lent which is 40 days.
So this might be an interminably long stretch for some.
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But 99 Days of Freedom promises that in return, Facebook users taking part in the experiment will recoup an average of 1683 minutes (or more than 28 hours) of their lives. There will also be a message board for everyone to share what they are doing on their extended Facebook break.
The experiment started as a joke around the office at Just Art, but soon people started taking the idea seriously.
"We had a lot of arguments about the experiment's duration. If it's too extended, participants will lose interest. If it's too short, there's no meaningful behavioral change to assess," said Just Art director Merijn Straathof. "In the end, we landed on a 99-day program with periodic surveys and posts, hoping that such interaction will serve as a support group of sorts. As everyone at our firm is participating in the experiment, we'll be testing that one first-hand."
If you want to take the plunge, there are three steps:
Change your profile photo to the 99 image.
Share your last link with friends.
Then just don't use Facebook for 99 days.
"Facebook is an incredible platform, we're all fiercely loyal users and we believe that there's a lot to love about the service," Straathof said. "But we also feel that there are obvious emotional benefits to moderation."
But even those people who are really mad at Facebook right now probably won't do it. Most have made their pact with Facebook and won't leave no matter how mad they get.
Of course there are exceptions.
Disaffected user Casey Hinds has unfriended Facebook and is waging her owncampaign against Facebook poking users like lab rats.
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