Texting as Surrogate Touch
I am usually on at least one different campus a week and no matter where I may find myself, I always note the same: students walking around texting and/or talking on their hand held electronic devices.
I understand this. The allure of somebody reaching out to me to communicate something is indeed powerful. Somebody needs me. Somebody wants me. Somebody is giving me attention. I am noticed. I am affirmed. These are universal human needs and we have never before possessed such addictive ways of getting them met.
But I have to wonder if we could find other ways to meet student needs, to give them attention, reach out to them, affirm them, that might offset some of this constant need for electronic attention. I guess my even wondering about this reveals my nostalgia for days gone by when people on campus resorted to other means of communication. OK, let’s say I accept this new age with no resistance. As I move on I still want to ask: aren’t there other ways, more ways, that we could be paying attention to our students, letting them know they are noticed and important?