Thursday, September 10, 2009

╠ Social Experiments Gone Wrong ╣

One thing that always gets to me on Facebook and similar networks is when people change their personal details s part of what they usually call a 'social experiment'. The most common one is people changing their birthday in order to see if people realize that you change it or simply just follow the cues and wish you a happy birthday on another date.

Personally I believe that such experiments are a complete waste of time and in the end noone really feels the better. Basically it shouldn't require you to perform an experiment to prove that when you lie to someone, they get the wrong idea. Your respondents will fall into 3 categories. Thse that know your birthday that pick up that you're lying, those who thought they knew and just get confused and those that go with the flow and wish you a happy birthday only to feel like a dick once the experiment is over.

No matter which group you fall into you are left feeling worse than you originally did in regards to the person conducting the experiment.

So the data itself earned from the experiment is basically worthless and you've just screwed over your entire facebook network. Kudos.

I hope that this post at least deters one person from conducting a social experiment...


Zac Martin said...

Ahh but you overlook one key thing, sometimes people do experiments just for the fun of it, not necessarily for the data. :]

Tannie said...

Good point Zach :P

Such examples are's still about dicking around some of your friends but depending on your friends it could still be fun.

My main beef is with those who hide behind the line that it was for data or research.