During the ban, WPN spoke with University Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Eric Darr, who said the school hoped that students would understand what compelled them to use social media. In addition, the school wanted students to realize how often they take part in it.
Although students could access social platforms on their smartphones and off campus, Dr. Darr hoped that they would honor the academic exercise and try going without it for the week.
Could you do without Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, and other social platforms? WPN challenged viewers with this question last month and received responses on both ends of the spectrum. We also went to a local university to find out their thoughts on this challenge as well as learn what they thought about the social experiment from Harrisburg University.
Our answers varied with one student saying, “I think it’s a brilliant experiment.” Another student said, “I think it’s a little bit of an extreme measure to shut it down completely.” One other student said, “It would be very hard for me not to use any social media.”
Although the university is still gathering feedback, Dr. Darr shared with us some of the results they have already received. “In general, everybody reported that they didn’t understand how influential social media was in their lives,” he said.
He also had a word of advice for others. He said, “Social media is here and is here to stay. Whether we are even aware of it or not, it has the potential to take over our lives.”
Incidentally, Dr. Darr told us that the university is planning another blackout and other events to raise further awareness about the impact of social media.
What is your impression of this experiment and its results? What impact do you think that social media has on society?