Do you ever wonder what life is like without Facebook?
Over 40,000 participants were contacted via email after 33, 66, and 99 days to fill out three surveys. How many people returned to Facebook before 99 days were over?
What do adjectives associated with the Surveillance factor reveal? What do experiences around impression management predict?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.