‘Can you hear me now?’ because I am sick and tired of your phones

Nov. 9, 2015

Eleanor Sturt
esturt@uccs.edu

Due to the use of smartphones, being polite is a thing of the past.

I am talking about being present, in the moment, and not having the courtesy to put down your phone.

Is the junk on your phone really that important? The person in front of you is giving you their time, and most don’t even consider looking up from their phone screen.

It is really difficult to have a conversation with someone who is more interested in their Facebook feed than you. Some people are much more fascinated with a Snapchat of the turkey sandwich their sister had for lunch.

There are multiple infractions people have when using their cellphone, especially on campus.

Multitasking is a talent we all yearn for, but walking in a straight line and texting is something that few successfully accomplish. The amount of collisions I have seen on the Spine with speedy bikers, skateboarders and texters is incomprehensible.

I have even seen two people walking, staring at their phone and walk into each other. They made little grunting noises and continued on their way. Not even a real apology, just a prehistoric “Ugh.”

Or ordering coffee. People will order and pay without looking up from their hand-held universe. The baristas are people too and deserve your attention when you order.

OK, so maybe I am guilty of this next one, but I hate it when phones ring in class.

If your phone goes off in class, not only is that distracting to the rest of the class, but it is extremely rude to the professor. They prepared a lecture/lab to help you learn, but you don’t have the decency to silence your phone and give them the attention they deserve.

Silence your phone in class and stick it in your pocket. If it vibrates, and it may be important (family member who is sick, dying parakeet, etc.) leave the room and check. Otherwise, ignore it!

Professors, this rule applies to you too. If you don’t turn your phone off before class, you cannot expect your students to do the same.

Students, you are paying for this class, and you are certainly not learning the curriculum beating level 214 of Candy Crush.

I know being separated from the online world for a whole three hours is horribly difficult. What if something important happens? What if your best friend’s boyfriend’s third cousin breaks up again, and you don’t know as soon as it happens?

When did having a “social life” mean cutting yourself off from fellow human beings to connect over the Internet?

Remembering to silence your phone before class can be hard, but give it a go, or even turn it off completely if you are feeling extra brave.

Let’s bring back courtesy to the classroom.

I’m sure your friends will appreciate it. I know I will.