What would you do if WVU blocked access to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and instant-messaging sites for an entire week? Luckily, it is not happening. However, Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania did implement a weeklong ban after Provost Darr saw his daughter juggling conversations on Facebook, instant messaging, and her iPhone.
Mr. Darr’s five-day, social-media void stirred quite the commotion bringing issues such as free speech. Jason Hyers, a technology student at Harrisburg University, was in charge of patching holes in the blanket over the social media sites. He notes, “Student-wise, at first, there was a lot of whining. I’ll be honest: flat-out, pure whining.” This “outage” did not ban people from using networks off campus, or accessing these sites via smart phones.
As the week continued, authentic feedback targeting the benefits of these sites, aside from the social aspect, helped Harrisburg University fully understand the advantages of integrating social media into academia. Attention from the Associate Press, National Public Radio, and even Jimmy Fallon were attracting to this story.
I invite you to read the article and let us know what you think about a temporary social media outage. How would you respond?