It’s that time of year, new school supplies, new classes, and most importantly new teachers. While the year can start off promising, the first day is crucial in determining how successful you will be once you graduate, no matter what your current classification is. What this pans out to, is the fact that most students in the age range of 18-25 do not realize that to properly learn how to network and navigate their ways through life, one must learn to listen and read between the lines.
For example, a professor might tell his class that text messaging is not allowed. To most students, “Text messaging is not allowed” translates into “Don’t text when the teacher is looking at you, only text when they can’t see you”.
Some might argue that this is a common fact and that it is a sign of the times; but it is actually setting students up to possibly fail in the post-graduation world, not just the class.
According to an online article produced in conjunction with the Washington Post: “52% send text messages from a movie theater, 28% send a message while at the dinner table, and at least two hours and 45 minutes [is devoted to texting during school]” (cellphonesinlearning.com).
Many will agree that cell phones, in addition to other electronic devices of the 21st century are valuable tools; most often you will find the counter argument: who is going to teach electronic communication etiquette? I have a cell phone, but I don’t text in class; does this mean I am against the norm of society, or has society taken a different spin on the rules of communication?
I am a non-traditional student in the sense that I worked in the real world before I came to college. There is no texting while at work. You can text on your lunch break, but not when you are listening to your boss during a meeting or assisting a customer. Are we setting ourselves up for failure, or are we in the infant stages of communication? Technology and information are at our fingertips, but do we really know what is going on in the real world?
I present a challenge; try to not use your cell phone during class for one day. I know most of you will wonder what to do if there is an emergency, how will anyone contact you. I also challenge you to review history. In the 1970’s, cell phones did not exist for college students, and those students were able to go to class and handle life’s challenges. Now imagine who those people are today; they are your teachers and probably your bosses. Ask those people how they managed, the answer might surprise you.