75 minutes without Facebook: Is that so hard?

College students show up for class, then spend 75 minutes checking Facebook photos, sending Tweets to friends and ignoring the professor.  She thinks it’s rude. They disagree.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  Is it the professor’s job to teach manners?

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  1. This is a reflection of what has happened to our society. We’ve got a population so addicted to instant messaging, tweets, email, texting, cell phones, etc; that they have no idea how to manage their lives without such nonsense.

    30 years ago, cell phones and mobile phones were very expensive, and pagers were just starting to come onto the market (though they were expensive as well). In those days, you phoned someone, and someone answered, they didn’t, or someone took a message and called back later.

    Come to think of it, society was a lot more polite as well.

  2. When I was in business school, the professor had the ability to turn off internet access for just our class during the class time. This “forced” us to pay attention. It is too easy to be distracted with Facebook, Twitter and emails. With the cost of higher education these days – people should be paying attention!

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    Ref manners: Good manners is, compared to those without, worth at least $100k in the bank over a lifetime and it doesn’t cost much money to teach it. Unless, of course, the parents’ job is done so poorly that you need a college course.

  4. Mark Roulo says:

    It would be expensive, but colleges (and high schools?) might try this:


    I don’t know if windows would make this work less well, but many large lecture halls pretty much don’t have windows.

  5. Tom West says:

    I think you could make a good case that it is bad manners to offer internet access in the classroom to students when they should be paying attention.

    Paying attention is difficult. Placing a massive distraction just a click away is akin to putting a dessert tray in front continuously in front of a dieter or dangling a pack of cigarettes in front of someone who’s trying to quit.

    Of course it’s theoretically possible that someone can continuously exert the willpower to avoid the distraction, but it’s pretty cruel to continuously force them to do so. Even spending the effort to resist the temptation is going to result in less effort spent paying attention.