DiDomenico offers extra credit to students who give up technology


Michael Claussen

Jim DiDomenico, English teacher, poses with a copy of Into the Wild.

Jim DiDomenico, English teacher, offered extra credit the weeks before winter break to students who gave up technology for two weeks. The reason? The English 1 Honors curriculum reads Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, which features the story of Chris McCandless, an adventurer who ventured into the Alaskan wilderness in order to seek refuge from the confines of society; he, too, cut off all forms of technology.

To simulate McCandless’ experience, DiDomenico challenged his students to refrain from the use of their social media accounts for a couple of weeks. At the conclusion of the challenge, students were expected to report on the experience.

“I did the challenge as a freshman,” said Jimmy Thompson, senior. “I deactivated my Facebook, which at the time I spent a lot of time on. At first I thought it would just be temporary, but I found myself so much more productive with my homework.”

Unlike Thompson, some students had a harder time adapting to the challenge.

“At first, I tried,” said Aaron Antoniou, freshman. “It’s too hard. I gave up and use social media still.”

Antoniou isn’t the first to have failed DiDomenico’s challenge.

“Freshman year, I began to deactivate my Facebook and Instagram,” said Brett Dougherty, junior. “I was able to go about a week until I reactivated both accounts.”

DiDomenico’s challenge has proven to have lasting effects on some students. The idea of cutting oneself out of social media seems unattractive but can have benefits in the long run.

Thompson said, “To this day I do not have a Facebook and try to refrain from using social media as much as possible.”