Tuesday, August 18, 2009

#44: Calling their Mother while walking to class

Cell phones.

The spread of cell phones into ubiquity has irreversibly changed the lives of Americans over the past decade. Pay phones are a thing of the past, landlines are becoming rarer by the day, and people have become closer to each other than ever before. Because of cell phones, people are always able to find each other, and they are always able to contact each other; but it doesn’t necessarily mean they should.

At Notre Dame, Students unquestionably reap the benefits of cell phones (and the expanded coverage on campus) but the most questionable use of this technology by Notre Dame Students is the constant desire to call their mothers while walking between classes.

Hey, Mom, it’s Katie . . . yea, I just got out of class and am walking to lunch right now. . . I don’t think I did as well on the Anthro test today . . . oh, but don’t worry, I’m getting my Spanish paper back today, and I’m pretty sure I aced it . . . yea, I just like wrote the whole thing in English and then had the computer translate it . . . ok, Mom, I gotta go, I just got to the dining hall and there will probably be a long line for hummus. Love ya.

While calling Mom certainly isn’t a bad thing to do on a regular basis; it is bizarre that many students believe the best time to do this is during the four minute walk from South Dining Hall to DeBartolo. Never mind the fact that strong winds along the South Quad corridor might make it difficult for Mom to hear them explain the proper technique for slapping a bag of Franzia; a private conversation is impossible while walking along a crowded sidewalk in the middle of campus.

What is most shocking about these conversations is the degree to which Notre Dame Students share minutiae with their mothers. Certainly Mothers care about whether or not their children are in relationships, but it is borderline unhealthy for a student to tell their mother about each and every hook-up they have (Notre Dame Hook-Up, of course, see #21). However, these conversations can be heard near-daily on the sidewalk outside O’Shag.

Hi Mom it’s Meg . . . I’m walking back to BP right now . . . yea, we went to Club Fever last night, and I got pretty drunk on Vodka Cranberries . . . ok, wait, can you hold on while I walk through this building . . . [pause while walking through Stepan Chemistry Hall] . . . sorry, I gotta go, I just ran into Patrick and he’s gonna buy me Starbucks with his flex points . . . ok, later Mom.

While calling home for such a brief period of time makes little to no sense from a conversational and communicational standpoint, it is also rude to other people walking near these students on the sidewalk. Unlike Mom, most Students do not need to be serenaded with mindless stories about their lives and while cell phone reception is excellent, it still requires them to talk obnoxiously loud while walking across the quads.

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