UNC classmate Amanda Toler works with students at Duke, and she’s trying to use online methods to reach them. She created a few Facebook groups to promote study abroad programs after deciding email was not effective.
But she’s finding that students are dropping out of Facebook too. Another classmate, Joseph Recomendes, thinks students are breaking addiction. Under-30 classmate Jackie Barrientes expanded with a great quote: “As soon as I walked by a budget meeting at the Observer where editors had Facebook projected up on a wall, I knew it was the beginning of the end.”
In an online class discussion, Amanda speculated: “If they won’t check email and they’re dropping out of Facebook, where will I find them? The mall? The library? Actually conversing with each other face to face on campus? The possibilities are actually quite exciting.”
In my neighborhood, which is rapidly getting much hipper than I’ll ever be, event organizers are turning to deliberately low-tech flyers at restaurants and bars to promote pumpkin walls and anti-coal-plant meetings.
Media should remember: If we stalk people by following them to text messaging on their phones next, they’ll find another place to go. Too much quantity, too much advertising, too much spam, and people hit “delete.”
Photo by SAA circa 2006 in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte. Look closely for pumpkin pi jokes.