Look Up, Please


Catherine Greub

Look up. I am not pointing fingers, but every time we walk out of a class we check our phones- always concerned about who texted us, quickly answering that Snapchat, or checking the email sent from your coach. It’s an ongoing challenge of our generation. Obviously, as times have changed, our life is becoming more and more connected to our phones, but we have to unattch from them sometimes.

Personally, I have been run into or have run into someone else while being on my phone. When this happens, we quickly look up from our bright screens and mumble a quiet “Sorry,” then carry on with our day, not even recognizing whom we ran into. Last year, I forgot my phone at home, (I know, tragic) and spent the day wishing I could see who was contacting me. It then dawned on me. I decided to take that day to look up, see new faces, and enjoy the people around me. Sure, it’s school and everyone looks gloomy, but that day of no phone taught me a lot. Each time I would walk out of class, I would watch as every student would grab his or her phone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, or maybe I was fortunate. I walked the halls with my head held high, smiled, and said “Hey” to all my friends who I never even knew passed me on a daily basis, and I even made a new friend. It was great day that made me aware of my surroundings. It just shows what a little disconnection can do.

Some could argue that the cause of our grabbing our phones the moment we get out of class is because the teachers take them from us. But the truth is, that isn’t the reason at all.  When we have to put our phones in the slots, we have separation anxiety. That’s why there are many teachers who let us keep our phones and go on them during class. Even if we keep our phones and had the ability to check them, we still gravitate to them in the hallways. Our phones are our security blankets. When I asked the teachers at Lake Forest how they feel about students on phones in the halls Mr. Del Fava said, “It’s extremely annoying, because many times I have to side step a student.” While Del Fava allows phones to be out in classes to listen to music (when appropriate) and occasionally check notifications, he claims not going on phones in the hall is about, “…being considerate of others, in class (going on your phone) it’s impacting the student alone, but in the hallways, it’s dangerous to others.” Mr. Mocogni gives advice of, “Don’t text and walk. It’s like texting and driving, just don’t do it.” And finally, Mrs. Nelson, her comment strong as ever, “All I can say is that it’s  ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous. Look up and smell the coffee, talk to your friends!” The teachers strongly believe that this is a problem in our school that needs to be fixed!

To fix this problem, may I suggest we have a day in our school, possibly every Monday, when we don’t go on our phones in the halls? This would get us back into the busy work week. As much as “No Phone Friday” sounds better, we all have to plan our weekend which is understandable. If our school would participate in this, we could have teachers giving out raffle tickets, and it would be your responsibility to then enter yourself to win something. Just a thought!

If you don’t agree with any of this, it’s okay. But please, let me leave you with this bottom line: Why Snapchat your friend when you can talk to them?




The Girl You’re Texting