99 Days of Freedom: Will YOU return to FB after quitting?

Figure 1. Logo for 99 Days of Freedom. Facebook users who took the pledge were encouraged to change their profile picture to this image.

(Source: 99daysoffreedom.com)

99 Days of “Freedom”.

This is an idea of Merijn Straathof, the art director at the Dutch advertising firm, Just. He initially wanted to see if he could stay off of Facebook for 99 days, and it developed into a campaign — 99 Days of Freedom.

The campaign encouraged participants to change their profile picture to Figure 1, and post to their friends that they would be back in 99 days. They gave a pledge to try to avoid using both Facebook and any other Facebook-linked product or service.

Over 40,000 participants were contacted via email after 33, 66, and 99 days to fill out three surveys. Across the three surveys, about one fifth of people returned to Facebook before 99 days were over.

Table 1. The number of respondents and descriptive statistics for each survey. Gender includes female, male, and declined to report.

To see the analysis, read our next post

99 Days of Freedom: What do the adjectives reveal?

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

99 Days of Freedom: What do the adjectives reveal?

The previous blog 99 Days of Freedom: Will YOU return to FB after quitting? says that the adjectives participants wrote in their responses can indicate their likelihood to return to Facebook.

Figure 1. Logo for 99 Days of Freedom. Facebook users who took the pledge were encouraged to change their profile picture to this image.

(Source: 99daysoffreedom.com)

99 Days of “Freedom”.

The first survey asked,

1.“Select the words that best describe your experiences, perceptions of, and attitudes about the 99 Days.”

The subsequent surveys asked,

2. “How do you feel about [the pledge] since the last survey?”

The results are displayed in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Factor analysis results across the three data sets. For factors with multiple high loadings, we manually assign a [Label].

We suspect that respondents likely used these adjectives in part to describe their experiences of the pledge and in part to describe how taking the pledge altered their perceptions of Facebook.

Respondents who chose adjectives associated with the Surveillance factor (e.g., watched, monitored, on-stage) were less likely to revert. Their experiences during the pledge were associated with an increased feeling of being surveilled on Facebook, which helped them to stay away from Facebook.

Experiences around impression management (e.g., on-stage, self-conscious) predicted increased likelihood of reversion. The 99 Days of Freedom pledge led some respondents to think more about Facebook in terms of impression management. As a result, returning to Facebook means having better control over perceptions of their online identities.

Those who focus on managing their impressions on Facebook were more likely to revert, while those who felt judged were less likely. Additionally, respondents who felt manipulated by, and perhaps who were rebelling against, Facebook were less likely to revert.

Is it likely for you to feel being watched or being judged when you go on Facebook? Do you consider Facebook as a platform for impression management? Leave us a comment!

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

99 Days of Freedom: Who Goes Back Early?

Who is most likely to go back to Facebook earlier than they intend to? We used topic modeling to analyze people’s experiences during 99 Days of Freedom. Here’s what we found.

 

(Source: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/)

In the Day 33 responses, four topics were associated with increased or decreased chance of returning to Facebook.

Increased Chance:

Withdrawal: first, felt, days, day, check. Respondents who described such initial withdrawal-like experiences, even if eventually overcome, were more likely to return to Facebook.

Decreased Chance:

Friends’ reactions limited: about, know, one, don’t, really. Such statements carry a “don’t know, don’t care” connotation about friends’ reactions on Facebook.

Missed content: friends, pictures, miss, photos, family. Surprisingly, this topic was associated with decreased likelihood of reversion. We suggest two possibilities. Click here to read more.

Nothing happened: nothing, thing, happened, bad, really. This topic is pretty much self-explanatory: respondents specifically say that they cannot think of anything bad that happened.

 

In the Day 66 responses, two topics were significantly associated with the chance of returning to Facebook.

Increased Chance:

Other social media: social, media, other, use, network. Why does this topic predict increased likelihood of reversion?

Decreased Chance:

Missed content: out, events, friends, missed, some. People who used other social media were surprisingly more likely to go back to Facebook.

Which of these topics resonate with your experiences? Feel free to leave us a comment.

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

Day 33 Topic 1. Withdrawal: first, felt, days, day, check.

As we talked in the previous blog 99 Days of Freedom: Who Goes Back Early? the first topic of Day 33 Topics is Withdrawal: first, felt, days, day, check.

(Source: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/)

Responses for this topic often described one initial set of experiences, generally negative, sometimes followed by a different set of experiences, often positive. Many of these responses discuss habit, perceived addiction, withdrawal, and so on:

“In the first 10 days, I thought about Facebook a lot. Whenever I opened up a browser, my fingers would automatically go to ‘f’. On day 9, I had a dream about accidentally logging in to Facebook—which showed that I was consciously thinking about it.”

“I was experiencing withdrawal and felt socially disconnected. The impluse to check FB was very strong, especially when I was feeling low. I caved in after about a week, and began checking FB a few times a day for about a week. But then I decided to quit FB again, which again only last 2-3 days. For the past 4 days I have been checking FB once-twice a day, spending around 5 min per day in total.”

Respondents who described such initial withdrawal-like experiences, even if eventually overcome, were more likely to return to Facebook.

Have you ever felt a strong urge to check Facebook all the time? Feel free to leave us a comment.

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

Day 33 Topic 2. Friends’ reactions limited: about, know, one, don’t, really.

The main post 99 Days of Freedom: Who Goes Back Early? lists four topics for Day 33 responses. The second Day 33 topic is Friends’ reactions limited: about, know, one, don’t, really.

In Spanish: “He had over 2,000 friends on Facebook, don’t you think there should be more people here?”

(Source: http://www.pinterest.com/)

Most responses to this topic come from the question about how the respondents’ friends reacted. The responses describe a minimal reaction from friends, in some cases that friends did not even notice:

“Not many really cared or commented. I don’t think anyone shared in my revolt.”

“They didn’t even notice that I wasn’t there. No one called or emailed to ask what was up.”

“Nobody is bothered. Nobody outside fb asked me why I did I do it. On fb if anybody asked I don’t know.”

Interestingly, many of these responses also note the fact that, since the respondent had not logged in, s/he had not seen the reaction from Facebook friends. Such statements carry a “don’t know, don’t care” connotation about friends’ reactions on Facebook. This topic predicts decreased likelihood of reversion.

Would you feel sad if no one tried to contact you after you deactivate your Facebook account? Feel free to leave us a comment.

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

Day 33 Topic 3. Missed content: friends, pictures, miss, photos, family.

Previously 99 Days of Freedom: Who Goes Back Early? presented different topics occurred in the participants’ responses to surveys.

Here is the third Day 33 topic Missed content: friends, pictures, miss, photos, family.

(Source: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/)

Representative responses come mostly from the question about what people miss about Facebook. Respondents describe missing not only the photos themselves but also what those photos connote: inside jokes, familial bonds, personal identity, and so on:

“I missed my smart friends and their posts, I missed my inspiring friends and their uplifting words and photos.”

“I miss seeing some of the family pictures posted, especially those that others post of my Grandson.”

“I miss seeing photos that friends and family are posting. My brother rarely shares photos of my infant niece in places other than FB.”

Surprisingly, this topic was associated with decreased likelihood of reversion. We suggest two possibilities. First, family members may be viewing photos via other routes, for example, the respondent may see the photos via another family member who has a Facebook account. Second, these may be friends with whom the respondent has regular offline contact, as well, and thus leaving Facebook simply means the loss of a single medium rather than a loss of the social tie entirely.

Do the two possibilities we suggested make sense to you? Can you come up with any other possibilities? Feel free to leave us a comment.

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

Day 33 Topic 4. Nothing happened: nothing, thing, happened, bad, really.

Finally, let’s look at the last Day 33 topic of 99 Days of Freedom: Who Goes Back Early? Nothing happened: nothing, thing, happened, bad, really.

(Source: http://www.aaanything.net/)

The topic often occurred in response to questions about the worst thing that happened to the respondent. However, there were also some responses to the question about the best thing that happened wherein the respondent stated that s/he could not think of anything:

“Nothing actually, I can’t think of anything bad worth mentioning.”

“I can’t say there has been anything terrible happen.”

“not a damn thing. there was nothing on there that enriched my life. only the opposite.”

Many respondents specifically say that they cannot think of anything bad that happened. Such statements do not rule out the possibility of negative repercussions having occurred, but if they are not forefront in the respondent’s mind, then the likelihood of reversion decreases slightly.

If nothing bad would happen, would you make up your mind to deactivate your Facebook account? Feel free to leave us a comment.

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

 

Day 66 Topic 1. Other social media: social, media, other, use, network.

Have you read 99 Days of Freedom: Who Goes Back Early? This is the first Day 66 Topic: Other social media: social, media, other, use, network.

(Source: http://www.pinterest.com/)

Responses to this topic evidence mixed experiences.

Some of the responses describe filling the time previously spent on Facebook by instead using other social media:

“Sadly, on other sites!”

“My family and I reside in different places, and Facebook is our primary code of contact. I have utilized other social media outlets for connection, and of course, email.”

However, some responses include more reflective considerations about the role of social media as well as both individual and collective engagement with and through it:

“Better use of social media, detox and a bit more happy:)”

“I hate trends (social networks trends). Being out of them makes me feel different, wiser. I create my owm self-esteem, free and independent of “likeses” [sic]. ”

“consider people for who they are and noy [not] for the mask that they weAr on social network [sic].”

This topic predicts increased likelihood of reversion. These respondents are not likely rejecting Facebook but rather trying to negotiate an acceptable level and style of use, both for themselves and for their social connections. Reversion, in this case, may represent a successful accomplishment of such renegotiation.

What is the best substitute for Facebook in your mind? Or what is the primary social media platform you use? Feel free to leave us a comment.

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.

Day 66 Topic 2. Missed content: out, events, friends, missed, some.

Previously, we posted four inspiring posts of Day 33 topics. You could look back at the main post 99 Days of Freedom: Who Goes Back Early?. This is the second Day 66 Topic: Missed content: out, events, friends, missed, some.

(Source: http://www.pinterest.com/)

Representative responses for this topic come from a mix of questions, including the worst thing since the last survey, what the respondent was most nervous about during the next 33 days, and whether the respondent’s relationship with her or his family had changed. The content of these responses deals not only with missing out on events but also other types of occurrences:

“Missing some of the pictures of the grandchildren. And missing some invitations to gatherings.”

“I missed a birthday because of not seeing the FB invite.”

“Missing out of messages from people and them thinking that I am ignoring them. Missing out on updates for group events.”

“I’ve missed notices and pictures that they expected me to see.”

This topic somewhat surprisingly predicts decreased likelihood of reversion, even though we can see that birthdays, messages, and photos, in addition to events, are a felt absence for respondents. We could infer that if missing a few birthdays and other events is the worst thing that has happened since leaving Facebook, that is not bad enough to lead to a return before the planned 99 days have passed. In other words, while missing out on the content of social media emerged as a consistent theme, it is the people who describe compulsive behaviors who ultimately struggle with maintaining non-use.

Is there anything on Facebook that you feel you cannot live without it? Leave us a comment!

 

Reference

Baumer, E.P.S., Guha, S., Quan, E., Mimno, D., & Gay, G. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.