Every school year requires our undivided attention to our studies, so we have to swap our telephones for textbooks. A study published in 2010 by the College Student Journal revealed that 53% of college students use their phones in class. Even though we use cellphones in many aspects of our lives, I don’t think they should be used by students in class. I’m sure that my opinion is the unfavorable one, but I have reasons as to why they should remain away until class is over.
The No. 1 reason is that they are extremely distracting not only to the cellphone user, but to the people around that person. When you’re sitting behind someone with his or her cellphone out, you are more interested in watching him or her send out a tweet or advance to the next level in Candy Crush than you are on the lesson you’re supposed to be learning.
Another reason why you should put your phone away during class is that it’s extremely disrespectful to your professors. They are trying to teach you things about what you want to do with your life, and are constantly providing you with first-hand knowledge and experience for your prospective career path. The least you can do is show them that you care a little bit.
In-class cellphone users are also putting themselves at an embarrassing disadvantage. Those who use their phones in class are a bigger target for professors to call on, because they are obviously not paying attention. Our professors achieved some of the highest distinctions in education — they weren’t born yesterday. They notice when you’re more focused on other things. You’ll be put on the spot and subject to snickers from your classmates — something that none of us wants. Plus, it’s extremely rude and disrespectful to pretend to listen to your professor when you are completely involved in a text, tweet, or an update to your Facebook status.
If you’re distracted and not paying attention because you’re playing on your phone, there’s a good chance that your grades are going to suffer. According to the Astronomy Education Review, students who use cellphones in class, on average, have a GPA drop of .36 (on a 4.0 scale). It’s bad enough that there are all these distractions, such as television and the Internet, while we’re trying to do homework in our rooms. We don’t need more in class.
Think of it this way: You are paying a huge amount of money to attend school, so you can be better off in your profession. It’s best to pay attention, pass your courses, and get your money’s worth. If that’s not enough reason to put down the phone and put on your game face, I’m not sure what is. If you can put the phone away for at least an hour and remain alert while in class, then you should be golden by the time your first quiz or test comes around. I’m sure that text can wait and that game of Angry Birds will still be fun after class is over.
Junior journalism major
Printed in the 9/25/13 edition.