Cell phones are a big pain

Crystal Hudson

Why do students think it’s OK to be on the phone in class? They should have enough sense to turn their cell phones on silent and check for messages at the end of class. But too many students lack classroom etiquette. It is an ongoing problem with students using their phones to text and talk in class. So much so that many teachers have had to create policies regarding phones going off in the classroom.
As a student interested in learning, I am irritated when a teacher has to interrupt a lecture to tell students to put their phones away. I lose out on important information when the instructor has to waste time on behavior issues and cut the day’s lesson short. Even when a teacher does not notice students using their phones, the constant distractions around me end up making it hard to concentrate if I miss out hearing the details of an assignment or a lecture, it could negatively impact my grade.
I should not have to ask teachers to repeat themselves. It eats up even more time that should be devoted to the presentation of new material. I know the teachers, too, are frustrated by constantly having to repeat material as a result of bad classroom manners.
As adults, college students should not have to be told to stay off the phone in class. Our teachers are neither our parents nor our babysitters. I know when it’s OK to be on my phone and when it’s not — so should my classmates. I often hear students justifying the use of phones in class because they are waiting for an important call or message. As a single parent I know how it feels to want to be available in case of an emergency. But I put my own phone on silent and quietly glance at it if my daughter happens to be ill that day.
If I feel I need to take the call, I step out of class without being disruptive. But being rude is not the only problem with phone use in class. It can also be a safety hazard. Believe it or not, I see people who text or make calls in P.E. class. Just last week, I saw a classmate try to spike a volleyball while on the phone Even though it is a P.E. class, you should pay attention to what you are doing or you could get hurt. And imagine if a student mixed the wrong chemicals in science class because of inattention. As a matter of respect, I don’t think students should have phones in view of the teacher. But it is also a matter of personal responsibility.
If you are more worried about your phone than your class, then you shouldn’t be there. And if you use your phone in every class, then maybe you shouldn’t be a college student at all. There are many people who actually want to be here but couldn’t get classes because they were full.
If you really don’t want an education, drop out and let those who are serious about college get the classes they need next semester. I am not the only student who feels the use of cell phones in class is getting out of control, but many are not willing to speak up. Those who care need to be open about their concerns and let their teachers know before it causes a problem with grades or creates a rift between students.