• No social media? Stop the Madness!

    Date: 11.02.10 | by Judge Tom.

    An experiment at Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in September, 2010, has come to an end.  The school’s provost, Eric Darr, announced a weeklong blackout for all social media.  The ban included students and staff  while on campus.  Some affected were upset at the ban, but 68% found it enlightening and revealing.

    Provost Darr explained that the ban was not a punishment for the 800 students but a way for people to think critically about the prevalence of social media.

    One observation from the week was the students realization of how stressed they were over constantly checking status updates.  “They weren’t even aware of the stress they were under,” Darr said.  About 15% of the students said they were spending 11 to 20 hours on social media sites–per day.  On the other hand, some students volunteered to continue the ban for a month. In 2013, a treatment center opened in Pennsylvania for internet addicts.

    Could you go without Facebook or your cell phone for a week or even a day?  Do you think there are any benefits from limiting your time online or texting?  Do you remember a time when Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and others didn’t exist? 

    Are you aware that some teens and adults are actually addicted to the Internet?  So much so that in South Korea an Internet Rescue Boot Camp was started several years ago where parents send their addicted kids. The goal of the 12-day program is to re-introduce the ‘real world’ to the campers. No computers, cell phones or video games are on site. The virtual world is left at home while the students spend their time in an outdoor experience, talking to each other and making new friends.

    Update 2014:  Hundreds of rehab centers have opened in China to treat internet addictions. The syndrome is on the rise among Chinese teenagers. They participate in a four-month program where they are watched by guards, eat a special diet, undergo therapy and physical training.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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