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Pennsylvania university imposes weeklong ban on social media

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A school of technology in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will try a revolutionary experiment in social media this week: they're going to outlaw social media.

The University of Science and Technology sees the blackout of Facebook, Twitter and IM as a way to reflect on what they mean, the ways we use them, etc., etc. Of course, what it means for students is that they will have to go without updates on how so drunk their friends got last night:

Access to these popular social media tools will be blocked from campus computers through the week. This is not a disciplinary exercise, Darr says, but an academic one. At the end of the week, students will write reflective essays about their time in social media exile.

Three Harrisburg University students, Ashley Harris, Gio Acosta and Oluyemi Afuape, volunteered to discuss the experiment, and it turns out they have mixed feelings.

Afuape isn't a big fan of Facebook, and says he doesn't expect to be challenged by the blackout. But Harris is going to have a hard time not posting her whereabouts to friends.

"My biggest problem is not being able to find people," Harris says, "because I use Facebook and Twitter to find people at school, to see where they're at." [NPR]

Perhaps Harris is about to discover that his iPhone (which I'm guessing won't be blocked) also has the ability to tap into the past, an era when people used the telephone to communicate with other humans. But that would involve making an actual connection with someone, an activity more and more of us are reluctant to undertake.