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University bans Facebook, Twitter for a week

Students at Pennsylvania's Harrisburg University will do without Facebook, other social media for a week.
Students at Pennsylvania's Harrisburg University will do without Facebook, other social media for a week.
  • Pennsylvania university will ban Facebook, Twitter for a week
  • Harrisburg University ban will only affect students on campus
  • Students will write essays after the experiment on habits, behaviors they noticed

(Mashable) -- Pennsylvania's Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will enact a week-long social media blackout for all students in residence.

The students will be forbidden from using Twitter,Facebook, instant messaging and any other online communication except for e-mail.

NPR reports that university Provost Eric Darr chose to enact the temporary ban because he wants students to think about how much they're using technology in their daily lives and what kind of impact it has.

From NPR'sinterview it doesn't seem that he's anti-technology or anti-social media per se; he just believes today's college students take its role in their lives 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," Darr says. Students will write reflective essays about their experiences after the blackout has ended.

Not all students will be part of this academic exercise.

The blackout will simply be enforced by blocking social sites and networks on the campus network, so students living off-campus will be unaffected, and students with smartphones won't have any trouble staying connected either.

Darr is aware of this. "If someone feels the need to borrow their friend's phone to go check (Facebook)," he says, "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?"

It will be interesting to see how HarrisburgUniversity will be affected during the blackout. What type of impact do you think it will have?

With the prevalence of smartphones will the ban be rendered pointless? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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