“The (social media) blackout isn’t really that bad. Anyone with a 3G phone can still view these sites on campus.” – Harrisburg University Student
I think it’s safe to say that we aren’t surprised at the results of Harrisburg University’s social media blackout experiment. Reports are trickling in that the number of students who actually went cold turkey without any social media for the week averaged between 10% – 15%. Students were found hiking to a local hotel to log into Facebook through the hotel lobby’s wifi. And of course, anyone with a 3G phone could access social media sites.
As listed on the Harrisburg’s website, the goal of the social media blackout was:
“To get students, staff and faculty to think about social media when they are not available.”
Many are reporting that this experiment failed. The most obvious observation is because trying to block social media in this day and age is nearly impossible. And with only 10% – 15% of the campus “playing by the rules,” is this a true assessment of how the university’s population is affected? Perhaps the university should have researched the campus first, as Feedback EVP, Dean Browell stated:
If the statement they want to make is that the students should re-evaluate their communication methods and the effect such methods have on their life, it would do great justice to their cause that they understand the lesson before it is taught.
Like we mentioned before, there were a lot of assumptions made without any research or in depth understanding of how/why certain audiences on Harrisburg’s campus communicate. How was communication and productivity measured beforehand in order to reach a true assessment of this experiment?
Perhaps it was a public relations stunt. If so, brilliant for getting your name out there! Even if Jimmy Fallon did say on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,
We all have smartphones, dumb ass.
- Heather (@hmillar13)