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A challenge to students: Media Free Day

by JUSTIN LOCK Staff Writer

The Guidance Center is sponsoring a Media Free Day on April 30 where students, teachers, and staff at the school do not use any kind of social media or technology to communicate with each other.

   The point of Media Free Day is to encourage people to stop communicating over social media or cell phones, and to communicate face-to-face with anyone, including friends or family, for one day.

   Freshman Kason Leung said, “I’m pretty sure people can last one day without their cell phone.”

   Guidance Councilor Ms. Michele Rockoff said people cannot really know how people truly feel through texting or emailing. You can see a person’s emotions and body language by talking to them in person.

   Media Free Day was created from the combined effort of the students and faculty who participated in Challenge Day to change the atmosphere of the school.

   Challenge Day took place over a three day period while students trained and worked with each other to listen to one another and grow.

   Ms. Rockoff said, “Challenge Day students wanted to break down the barrier for people to communicate face to face.”

   Anyone can sign the pledge for Media Free Day during their lunch period, but it is not required to participate in this event.

   The sign up sheet says: “I pledge to turn off my cell phone and not log on to social media sites on April 30, 2013.”

   The sheet adds that social media sites, emailing, instant messaging, and texting can cause people to communicate less in person.

   Everyday there are 3.2 billion interactions on Facebook, 16 billion texts sent, 2 million blog posts published, half a billion tweets posted, 10 million minutes of Skype calls, and 300 billion e-mails sent.

   The average age children get their first cell phone now is around 11 and a half years old. If this continues, children may start to talk more using electronics than in person.

   Today, social networking is one of the most popular online activities, accounting for more than one-fifth of the time people are on the Internet.

   Freshman Ian Wankmueller said, “It’s surprising to me that people spend that much time on social media sites.”

   Posters have been put up around the school to encourage students to sign up and not to use their cell phones.

   This is the school’s first Media Free Day and the Guidance Center plans to host more in the future. The Guidance Center also plans to have another Challenge Day next year sometime in October or November.

   To alert students, there is a commercial for Media Free Day on the school news broadcast.

   What would you do if you could not use your cell phone or log onto social media sites for one day?

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