The Social Media Debate
Social media has become as traditional as sliced bread. Journalism curricula around the nation and abroad are requiring social media training and/or courses. Media promotions commonly consist of social media campaigns. Even the AP Stylebook contains a social media section. Could you live without it for a week?
The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology launched a week-long experiment blocking all social media on campus. They believe their students and staff will still be alive when it ends.
The experiment was launched to get… “people to think critically about the prevalence of social media (Matheson).”
The Provost adamantly supports the experiment, but admits it will be challenging.
University faculty, staff and students are not allowed to use any social networking sites on campus for the entire week. However, students and faculty can access the sites at a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot.
This experiment is not necessary to make people think critically about social media.
There are many different ways to measure the prevalence and critical nature of social media.
The Provost could have looked over his shoulder at a colleague checking his or her Facebook status or asked professors how many students they catch daily surfing the net in class. A survey would have also been an option.
This type of experiment could do one of two things: produce credible feedback solidifying the purpose of social media or break the world record for the biggest pain in the behind since the invention of suppositories.
Nevertheless, if the experimental goal to obtain honest opinions and feedback is met , this experiment could be used in lectures justifying or refuting social media for years to come.
1. Matheson, Kathy. A Week without Facebook? Pa. College tries it out