Cell phones: necessity or education nuisance

The American get-up-and-go lifestyle has increased the use of cell phones, especially among college students. However, disruptive ringers during class can be annoying for students and professors.

Whether it’s a job requirement or parents trying to keep up with children attending school, cell phones are essential for communication in this day-and-age.

However, some students say there should be some restrictions on how and where they should be used.

Some students say cell phones should be restricted in the classroom, where phones pose the greatest potential distraction.

“It’s rude,” said Kenyetta Harrison, a 20-year-old sophomore physical education and health science student from Miami. “I don’t want to hear anyone’s ringer while I’m in class and I’m pretty sure no one wants to hear mine.”

Since students are not required to leave their phones off campus, practicing phone etiquette could be a better alternative than getting disapproving looks from around the classroom.

While the embarrassment of a ringing phone is most likely to be eased by turning it off rather than leaving it on, it is possible to leave phones on and still not disrupt others in the area.

With cell phone features such as silent ringers, the vibrate option or checking caller ID allows users to remain unobtrusive and lessen the risk of disrupting others.

“It’s all about being discreet,” said Tiffany Bonds, an 18-year-old freshman elementary education student from Miramar.

“Your phone shouldn’t be on ring [in class], but on vibrate, then you can quietly get up and take your call.”

Moving toward cell phone tolerance, even the campus’ library has been affected by cell phone users. Enforcing a light ordinance, Coleman Library encourages students to display proper phone etiquette while using its facilities.

“[The Coleman library staff] does not restrict phones in the library,” said Lauren Sapp, director of university libraries. “We ask the students to use the lounge when accepting or making calls and to turn cell phones off in the library.”

Although most teachers are against phones being on during class, some understand the needs of certain students.

“Some students have jobs such as police officers, nurses and other public servants, which require them to keep electronic devices on,” said Larry Wright, an associate political science professor. “I’m personally against cell phones in class, but there will always be exceptions and gray areas. I set no restrictive policies.”

contact timothy shields at son_damioah@yahoo.com