“University Declares a Week without Social Media“……This NPR article on the Harrisburg University of Science & Technology social media ban prompted a question from friend and colleague Lori Schafer that appeared initially on Twitter and later as an automatic LinkedIn status update where it was met with much online discussion. Lori’s question:
“What if… there was no social media. Would you miss it?”
I didn’t have to think twice about my response. I truly would suffer withdrawal symptoms for about a day, but then the forced (ok, voluntary) separation from my Droid, PC and laptop would be rather freeing. I will admit that I am a social media addict and this has nothing to do with the fact that my entire consulting business is built upon advising companies and individuals on the best social media strategy practices. This choice of career just keeps me submerged in my addiction.
I love social media because I am an extremely social person and an information junkie. I love to truly get to know the inner core of a person: their passions, their hopes and their dreams. If I make a connection with someone, it is deep and lasting and loyal; unless my faith in the person is marred by their lack of integrity or some other moral character flaw. I use social media as a start to develop genuine off-line relationships that have come to mean a lot to me professionally and personally.
Having the shiny toys severed from my life would be akin to going on one of those silent monastic retreats. You know they are good for your soul and give you time to meditate, reflect and pray, but you also know that it is a temporary situation.
It will be interesting to see how the students at Harrisburg Institute of Science & Technology fair with their week-long campus social media black-out. They are the Millennials who grew up with this technology; I’m just part of Gen Y that hitched on for the ride.
What about you, would you miss social media if it suddenly disappeared?