What if access to social media outlets was blocked for a week? What if everyone had to put down the status updates, tweets and IMs? What is a Blackberry addict Facebook junkie supposed to do for a week? In an age where everyone is so connected, can this be done?
The answer may be surprising. This was the exact experiment conducted at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania. Mixed reactions ranged from "great idea" to calling the experiment "madness". The university blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and IM for a weeklong period beginning September 13, 2010. About 10 to 15 percent of the school's 800 students participated in the experiment.
Several students reported that without access, they felt less stressed because they didn't feel the need to check Facebook for status updates or post their every move for the world to see. They were able to sit around and relax, interact with their peers and even get some homework done - imagine that!
Others weren't too thrilled over no access, even though they didn't go on the sites that often, and felt it was an annoyance. It's like having a security blanket taken away for a week. Although the sites weren't accessed regularly, it was comforting to know they were there and can be accessed at any time.
Overall the school said the experiment was very successful as it examined the reliance on social media.
Are you up for the challenge?