Social Media Exile

15 09 2010

Borrowed from Twitter.com

While listening to NPR on Monday morning I heard a story that really grabbed my attention being the young, social media savvy PR student that I am.  This week Provost Eric Darr of Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania has declared a black out of all social media sites on campus.  That means no Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging programs, Youtube, ect.  on campus grounds.  At the end of the week students will write reflective essays about their week in “social media exile.”  The Provost claims that this is an academic exercise.  Often students are not even aware of of social media habits (ex: how many times we log on Facebook a day, the amount of communication that we do online instead of face-to-face, or how much we are addicted to the sites that we love so much).

After hearing this story and then further researching it, I began to analyze my own social media habits.  Do I rely too much on these tools that I love so dearly?  My personal answer is yes.  Often times I waste so much time on these sites when I could be doing more productive things or instead of calling a friend I Facebook them.  However, some people may argue that these tools are necessities and I would agree to an extent.  For example, our PR class will be using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to market campaigns we create for our class client.   In this sense social media is aiding in our education.

Overall, I think the Provost’s decision to block social media for a week is an excellent idea.  I believe it will provide eyeopening results to both the University and all the students who are participating in this exercise.  I am very curious to see the students responses at the end of the week.

I would encourage everyone to participate in their own “social media exile” or at least reflect on how much we spend our time on these sites and how dependent (or addicted if you will) we are to them.  Please let me know what you think about this exercise and whether it would be a good idea for other universities to participate.

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One response

16 09 2010
Social Media Guru

I like leaving comments on people’s blogs. I was amazed when I started commenting that it really did start to drive traffic back to my site and, more importantly, started to establish relationships with people. It’s a lot of fun and there are amazing people out there to meet.

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