Social Media Spring Cleanse
I completed – and, in a way, failed – the 99 Days of Freedom experiment. The campaign encouraging Facebook users to disconnect entirely for at least 99 days, fabricated by Dutch non-profit Just, was one of the more proactive results of 2014’s short-lived outrage toward the social network. There was that dubious psychological experiment to which Facebook allegedly submitted 700,000 unwitting users, followed by a controversial “real name” policy compromising pseudonymous accounts. Ello happened around the same time, you may recall. In short, there was much ado about a mass exodus from the social network all summer, which never really happened.
About this time, the shame of complaining about Facebook while still giving them my time and data really set in. I could say I failed at the experiment in that I remain reluctant to permanently delete my account – not that I haven’t requested to delete my account an embarrassing number of times, only to change my mind in a state of tiny panic and cancel the request within the two-week buffer period. (Thankfully, Facebook wants you to be really certain of your decision to stop donating your time and data for their profit before they’ll let you go.) My account has remained deactivated for the better part of six months to date, but I still cave and log in occasionally to reach certain friends, or to manage my magazine’s page. Still, I think the experiment has altered my perspective on social media for good.