Mass Deactivation is a month-long social experiment that will take place on the campus of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine from February 8, 2012 to March 8, 2012. We are calling this an "experiment" but, in actuality, it is not very scientific, i.e. there will be no control group, no data collection (though there will probably be a survey), etc. In this way it is very informal. Thankfully, however, the goal of Mass Deactivation is not to publish a scholarly paper on the effects of Facebook on society. Rather, we seek to begin a discussion on these issues relating not only to Facebook but social media and technology in general.
How it will work: We'll get as many Bowdoin people as possible to pledge to deactivate their Facebook accounts for the period of February 8 to March 8. Then, during that period, we will go about living in the Bowdoin community just like we would have done ten or fifteen years ago, each day making note of the differences we perceive. Our guiding question, in the broadest possible terms, will be: what does it feel like to exist in the Bowdoin community without Facebook?
Mass Deactivation is not an anti-Facebook campaign or boycott. Our only agenda is to find out how Facebook is affecting our lives. In fact, it would be just as valuable to find that Facebook has enriched our lives and strengthened our ties to one another.