Home > News, Technology > University Banning Facebook? But…How Will We Know Where the Keggers Are?

University Banning Facebook? But…How Will We Know Where the Keggers Are?

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

       

I’m getting older. I’ll be 26 next week in fact. And yes, I remember when I was in University and had not even heard of Facebook!       

Times have certainly changed. Social media has revolutionized the way young people…well, all people, communicate with each other. Facebook has 500 million users. Just Bieber has 5 million followers on Twitter, and I recently started using TweetDeck.       

So when I heard that Provost Eric Darr of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania has decided to ban all social media for the first week of school, I had some mixed feelings.       

Students will be unable to access social media sites from any campus computer, including their personal computers if they are in residence. The idea is to get the students to think about how much they are using these tools, and they are supposed to write an essay detailing their experience as well.       

When it comes down to it, I don’t like this idea. It will be interesting to see how people react without Tweeting or creating events and inviting friends. But to force an entire campus out of their social network is extreme.       

Its seems far too reactionary to me as well. I grew up without internet access until high school. I was introverted and nearly threw up on myself with nervousness every time I went over to a school friends house for a birthday party. I just was not good at socializing.       

But then ICQ and MSN Messenger came along. I could talk to people outside of school. It helped me learn that socializing was not some scary skill that only the popular kids were born with. It could be learned. It made me more confident and I was able to translate that confidence in face-to-face interactions.       

ICQ Logo. The first online social media tool I ever used.

This whole fear of social media is growing a bit tired. People from previous generations don’t understand it, but that’s fine. My grandparents didn’t understand rock music which was supposedly corrupting the world’s youth. My parents didn’t understand video games, but I still turned out to be a well-adjusted person who didn’t go around stealing cars or thinking I could fly.       

So lets not force kids to abandon Facebook and Twitter. Especially during the first week of University when they are away from home for the first time and have friends going to different schools across the world. Let them keep in touch.       

A better solution would have been to get volunteers to try the experiment and document it in a school newspaper. The experience would be interesting to read about. But then again, if they can’t use Facebook, how would inform their friends that they should read it?

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