Logged out of Facebook?

“Students at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology found themselves forbidden from using the Facebook social networking website at the start of the new semester as part of a week-long experiment.

Eric Darr, provost and executive vice-president of the Pennsylvania university, was inspired to initiate the project after witnessing his own daughter’s avid use of social media. He said that the aim was to make people think about how they used social media rather than encouraging staff and students to ditch the technology altogether.

“It was never about blocking access; it is about focusing attention on the use of social media,” he explained. “That is the bigger goal – not to get people to stop using Facebook, but to think about how they use it and how they can use it in a smarter way.””

Read full story.

Taking a Fast from the Digital Life

I started writing quite an extensive blog post whilst sat in Zizzi’s in Manchester last Monday on the WordPress app on the iPhone, but although it indicates that there is a draft in the local folder, there’s nothing there to open – it was my first go at using the app, so if anyone can tell me what I’m doing wrong, I’d love to know!!

The Digital Day

On that day, a Monday on which I was having a day off in Manchester, I had considered the amount of digital data I had used by lunchtime….

  • iPhone: Alarm clock
  • Bible (YouVersion)
  • Calendar (to check the time of my flight later in the day)
  • Train timetable – what time did I need to leave to ensure time at the airport.
  • Weather (what did I need to wear?)
  • Tweets via Echofon, including photos
  • Contact with friends (inc the one I was meeting later) via Facebook (and emails)
  • Checking in at various locations with Foursquare and Gowalla (including adding new locations/photos)
  • Geocaching (do you know how much more difficult that is in the urbanised areas than in the countryside – had to sit on a bench awaiting the other 3 benches around me to empty out – thank goodness for Mancunian rain!)
  • Vouchercloud, to check out somewhere I could get a good meal (on my own) for lunch.
  • And then I was sat there tapping in a blog on WordPress, but that didn’t quite work….

And that’s just the digital stuff I knowingly use… our entire world runs on digital in many ways

Digital Fasting

I had already booked, post giving my Twitter Talk to OutThere to go to St Cuthman’s for a retreat – phone went off shortly after I arrived… I then realised I had to turn it on as it was my only alarm clock (despite breakfast available til 10am!) – I risked it without the following day. Occasionally I missed the opportunity to take a photo of something, or tweet about something, but without that, can start to look at the views, at sitting still, etc. differently… I’m not saying I want to be without my digital tools (I especially love my Twitter, Facebook & blogging!), but it was such a relief to turn my phone off and NOT be available to anyone else but me – and a big pile of books in the library (for the record: 5 fiction books, 3 non-fiction books, 3 chapters of Ortberg, and reading through from Amos to Matthew in The Message)… and some gentle walks, meals cooked for me, lots of sleep and a bit of art! I was ready to dive back into Twitter and Facebook when I got back online – as you can kind of deal with stuff then & there, but it’s the email which tends to hang around until dealt with – and often requires more thought! Short of deleting around 2000 emails when I got home, I still have a big pile to deal with…. I need to plan my next digital fast, so that the digital world remains enjoyable and appreciated!!