More than 600 teens from a high school in Washington State recently conducted an experiment in which they quit social media-use and texting for one week. Thanks to teacher Trent Mitchell who came up with this “Social Experiment” (Theme: “What was life like in 1995?”), kids learned to communicate the “old-fashioned” way: by calling friends and parents on the phone and actually speaking. Many of the teens had never spoken to friends on the phone before, and found that their friends were awkward conversationalists:
But [Cole Sweeten, 17] likes getting calls. He prefers a real “Hey, how are you?” to a “Hello” text with a smiley face. “People sound different when they’re on the phone,” he said. “It’s emotion, not just little lines.”
Another teen, Eimanne El Zein, 17, reported that it felt “weird” giving it up, but that each day got easier and she was able to take more time for exercise, like running with her dogs, something she never had time to do when Facebook was in her life.
Advice from 16 year-old Nicholi Wytovicz:
…activities such as shooting hoops or watching basketball are better distractions than ones that take 10 or 15 minutes, he said. “Do something that fills time in large segments,” he advised.
Photo is from the article: Caption: “High school student Javier Caceres holds up a sign promoting ‘The Social Experiment’.” Photograph by: Erika Schultz, McClatchy-Tribune News Service