Harrisburg University Plans Social Media Blackout, Has Lost All Short-Term Memory
Remember what life was like before Facebook and Twitter? Ya know, back in 2005?
I remember it well--despite my young age--because, as most will probably agree, five years simply isn't that long. But apparently Harrisburg University has forgotten what life was like before social media, so they're planning a social media blackout for next week, banning all social media services on the campus.
Eric Darr, provost at Harrisburg University and the genius behind the idea was quoted in Inside Higher Ed, “I was frankly amazed... I thought, 'How do you live like this?' It struck me to think, 'What if all this wasn’t there?'”
I've got news for you, Mr. Darr: we all know what it was like when it wasn't here. Facebook has been around since 2004, but didn't really take off until 2006. Twitter was founded in 2006, but didn't become widely used until 2009. These are remarkably recent advancements in the way we communicate, but Mr. Darr seems to think we've all forgotten what life was like pre-social media.
There's a reason we use these services today--because we like them. Because they have utility. Because we learn from them, teach with them, communicate and organize with them. We share news and multimedia, information about our lives, and connect with new and old friends alike. We don't need to be forced to remember what life was like before we had social media, because we all know already. We just like it better now.
What if, hypothetically, a university wanted to "remember what life was like" before the printed word? What if a university shut the doors on its library and banned textbooks for a week, just as an experiment?
That'd be a giant step backward, right? It'd be an outrage, a travesty in learning, a tragic and sick experiment in higher education.Continued on the next page