Imagine you’re sitting in class actually paying attention to your teacher and you hear a chuckle coming from a few seats over, you look, and it’s someone who is clearly Snapchatting. What do you feel at that moment? I, personally, feel incredibly annoyed at this. I want to jump out of my seat, onto their lap, and start shaking them and screaming, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? PUT. IT. AWAY.” Of course, we all know that if I were to do that, I would be sitting in jail awaiting bail money because I assaulted another student. So that isn’t an option.
I am not perfect when it comes to social media in the classroom. I think almost everyone has their moments of checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all of the other popular social media sites, but when is it too much? When does it become a distraction?
To answer these questions, I set out on a quest to find random students and ask them a series of questions about social media and electronics in the classroom. The results weren’t shocking. Out of 15 people, 8 said they use electronics in the classroom, and that if they were bored in the class, they were more likely to check their social media. The majority of the 7 people that do not use electronics in the classroom stated that it was because of personal preference to use pen and paper, or because they know they will be distracted.
Not surprisingly, most people said that they do get distracted by the use of electronics in the classroom, but only when they can see that those using them are on social media.
For one student named Adam, it’s never been a huge distraction. When I asked him if he believes students would do better in school if electronics were banned from the classroom, he said something that really hit me, “If people have a distracted mind, then they will find something else to distract them.”
I have can absolutely agree with this because I have a distracted mind, so whether I have electronics or not, I know that I will more than likely be distracted by something else.
Let’s take this outside of the classroom for just a second. When you’re hanging out with your friends and you’re trying to actually have a conversation with them but all they are doing is taking selfies, texting, or checking Facebook and Twitter, do you feel like what you have to say isn’t important? Imagine how your professors feel. Remember, you did choose to take the class, whether it is a GER or not. I believe that social media isn’t just ruining our abilities to have face-to-face conversations, but that it is also hindering our performance in the classroom.
Almost everyone I surveyed doesn’t agree with me, and that’s okay, but if we were to do an experiment, like spending a week or two without our electronics, do you think you would do better in your classes? Would you retain more information?
I know, it’s your money and you paid the tuition, so you can choose what you do in those classes and whether you pass or fail, but then why are you in college if not to learn new things? I think we should all embrace the fact that we have the ability to learn new things each and every day. I think we need to remember that there are a lot of people who never get this opportunity. I also believe that we need to learn new levels of respect for others. It seems that respect has dwindled and is a lot of times non-existent, and that needs to change. I think we all need to embrace these opportunities instead of throwing them away.