Over the last couple of years I have done an informal survey over the web. This survey is not scientific, but it is telling, and over 361 students between the ages of 15-22 and provided these results:
1. During the day your cell phone is:
On my body (belt or purse included): 96%
Within reach of my outstretched arm at all times: 3% In the same room: 1%
2. What percentage of time is your cell phone in ring versus vibrate mode?
3. When you sleep at night your cell phone is:
On my body (in the bed with you counts): 93%
Within reach of my outstretched arm at all times: 4%
In the same room: 3%
Here are a few quick quirks I noticed:
A). Students see their cell phones as an accessorial extension of themselves. I find that a little sad and a lot depressing.
B). Students call their cell phones their “phones” and not their “cell phones.” When I ask what kind of “phone” they have at home plugged into a wire and I hear “the old people phone” a lot.
C). Over 90% of the students surveyed either wear or sleep with their cell phones, yet over 90% keep their cell phones on ring instead of vibrate. Why? Why must we hear your ringtones? Be discreet! Have grace in the palm of your hand instead of a crying, whistling, rant!
D). I can’t believe anyone would sleep with a cell phone! You are not that important! Get a life and then get to sleep!
E). When I teach, the first rule in my classroom is to “turn off your cell phone.” 100% of the time that phrase is interpreted to mean “put your cell phone on vibrate.” In a quiet classroom like mine a vibrating cell phone can be just as annoying as a ringing cell phone.
When I explain I want them to “cut the power on their cell phones” I am met with horror and hatred in the same expression! The looks are delicious. The ensuing quiet is extraordinary. Many of them have no idea how to “turn off” their phones because they are always “on” and to comply they end up removing the battery.
I am not a phone person. I have a phone. I am not a cell phone person.
I have a cell phone. I am not an instant message person. I do not have any instant message software installed. I prefer email over any sort of phone. I prefer email over instant messaging. Cell phones are a necessary evil. Instant messages only bedevil.
Email allows me to respond in the best and fastest possible manner for both of us.