99 days of freedom.

Anyone who writes, whether it’s for pleasure or for sport, knows that when an electric strike of genius hits you and ignites the creative spark in your brain, the continuous flow of words is just unstoppable.

My brain has just been hit by this electric strike.

For days now I have been pacing back and forth in my head on the idea of writing about something that I feel strongly about. I had become so frustrated with the fact that my 30-day writing challenge was turning into more of like a 38-day challenge that I gave up on the idea altogether. I knew that I had plenty of ideas and concepts that I felt strongly about, but each time I would try to put that thought into words I just wasn’t happy with the outcome. It felt like I was forcing myself into inspiration and each idea sounded to me like it was too preachy. After writing and deleting a post so many times in a row, you just accept the fact that it’s time to temporarily throw in the towel.

Then today happened. Wednesday, July 9, 2014. A majestic day that seemed relatively ordinary when I woke up this morning, little did I know that so much creativity would blossom from a simple decision that I was destined to make later in the day!

Like any other person who participates in the innovations of the modern world, I kept the first half of my day constantly occupied with Facebook. When I was eating lunch with my family, Facebooking. Sitting at a red light? Not the safest, but yes, Facebooking. Killing some down time at work? Facebooking. As unhealthy as that sounds, if I would have chosen not to login to my account today I would have never discovered the article that gave me the inspiration to let my chubby little fingers go crazy on the keyboard.

I stumbled upon an article that was shared on Facebook by a local newspaper. The picture tagged with the article was what caught my attention. In big letters it read, “99 days of freedom.” Being the curious camper that I am I clicked the article and started to read into it. The first line said, “Do you ever wonder what life is like without Facebook?”

That line right there, only ten words, got me hook, line and sinker. What would life be like without Facebook? Growing up my generation has seen much of the technological advances of our time. When I was 13 years old, it felt like my whole life had changed when I got a Nokia cell phone from my parents for Christmas. No touch screen; no color screen for that matter, no apps, no music…no entertainment what so ever. I did have Snake, the game where a line basically moves around the screen until one end touches the other. It might sound silly now but that game could have kept me occupied for hours, almost like what Facebook is to people in the present day.

When I was sixteen social networking became “the thing.” MySpace, which is like the bastard child of social networking sites today, was all the rage. You just had to have one. From that point social networking took off, bringing us to where we are today. Mr.Zuckerberg had the right idea of keeping it simple yet sophisticated enough to attract people to his site and away from the competitors.

This year Facebook has had a couple of controversial stories in the press causing the public to feel like they couldn’t trust Facebook as much as they thought. With all the built up frustration the people took matters into their own hands, which is when “99 Days Of Freedom” was created. Their site reads:

In response to Facebook’s controversial mood experiment involving some 700,000 unwitting users, we present you 99 Days of Freedom; an online study on how life without Facebook impacts user happiness. Joining is very simple: follow our three-step instruction to join the experiment for as long as you like…

Step 1. Change your profile picture.

Step 2. Share your last link (at least for now).

Step 3. Don’t use Facebook for 99 days.


 

So, I just did it. I accepted the challenge.

I followed steps one, two and three and said sayonara to Facebook for the next 99 days. Why?

Because in that moment, I found something that I truly felt strongly about.

After all, that was what the whole point of posting about something like this was all about. Everyone around me, my family, my friends, my co-workers all use Facebook. The site has brought wonderful communication opportunities to our world, but is it doing more harm than good these days?

I’ve been taking a social problems college class over the Summer, which is most likely why this sparked so much interest in me. In the class we are taught that there are 4 stages to a social problem being created.

One, is the beginning. The origin of a problem immersing itself from social networking. We’ve seen these problems in the form of cyberbullying, internet addiction, depression, etc. Stage two is the official response. 99 Days Of Freedom is a perfect example of this, they’re reacting to growing pressure over the uncovering of Facebook’s controversial mood experiment. Stage three is reacting to the response or taking sides. That’s where I come in! I’ve chosen to side with 99DOF by removing myself from participating in any activity on Facebook for the next 99 days. And stage four, alternative strategies. This stage hasn’t blatantly shown itself yet, but it will happen in the future. The controversy will continue and new strategies will develop to overcome the opposition of social networking.

It could just be me, but doesn’t it seem like Facebook is slowly becoming a social problem?

I am incredibly excited to see what a difference it makes in my life, if any at all, being without Facebook. While completing my challenge I will happily be sharing my activity on Instagram and Twitter to spread the word of 99DOF and how it is effecting me on a daily basis.

Just on a side bar, I know it might seem hypocritical to quit using one site and continue posting on others, but in my personal opinion I do not use any other social media outlet more than I do Facebook.

Human beings survived perfectly fine before having the luxury of knowing what every person you know is up to every single day. So why can’t we live without it now?


If you want to take the challenge or even just read more about the cause I’ve posted links to their website and a couple of online articles below:

Website: http://99daysoffreedom.com/

Articles:

Time Magazine: http://time.com/2969873/99-days-of-freedom-facebook-experiment/

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/07/08/facebook-99-days-quit/12359699/

Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/99-days-of-freedom-2014-7?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+(Business+Insider)

 

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