University to Students: No Facebook, Twitter for A Week

The provost of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is taking an unusual step to teach his students a lesson on how social media is impacting their lives: he has banned both Facebook and Twitter on campus for an entire week. Provost Eric Darr doesn’t look like he’s anti-technology, rather he believes that students may take these technologies for granted.

“Often, there are behaviors or habits, ways that we use technology that we may ourselves not even be able to articulate because we’re not aware of them,” he told the NPR in an interview. “If someone feels the need to borrow their friend’s phone to go check Facebook, it’ll be interesting to ask the question at the end of the week: Why did you feel the need to do that? What compelled you to do that?”

Students off campus would still be able to access these sites as the ban only is for the on-campus network. Those with smart phones would still be able to access these social networking sites while at the school. But again, Darr wants students to try to live without it. Could be a good idea — do today’s kids rely on social networking too much?


4 comments

,

  1. ahow628 September 14, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    I'm wondering if exercises like this could spur innovation.

    "Hey, I'm not on Facebook/Twitter, I wonder how else I could communicate with friends to fill the void."

    Next thing you know, the next generation of social media has arrived.

    • Ed Oswald September 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

      What actually talking to people face to face? 🙂

  2. ilo September 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    The next week, they should ban toothpaste. After that, maybe a week without motor oil? After all:

    “Often, there are behaviors or habits, ways that we use technology that we may ourselves not even be able to articulate because we’re not aware of them”

    … applies to toothpaste and motor oil as much as any web site that is currently in fashion.

  3. Relyt September 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Maybe they should not allow students to talk either. Right now I am on facebook to ask my classmates when a school meeting tomorrow is, because I know none of their phone numbers, and need to know when this meeting is. While I was doing that, my friend chatted me to ask what a story map is – something he needs to know for homework.