The Austin American-Statesman had an interesting story by Tracy Dahlby, a journalism teacher at the University of Texas, “Our Digital Mindset.” He, as many professors and teachers do, fear his teaching time will be interrupted by “digital crack.” What he means is the constant text messaging, the iPad browsing, the Facebook liking and the pinning to Pinterest.
He discusses a new stance from Professor Larry Rosen who is also a research psychologist at Cal State, Dominguez Hills. The stance is a zero tolerance policy for anything digital and that means cellphone use, texting, tweeting—the whole shebang. In other words, if you can turn it on, leave it out of his classroom.
Rosen points out most youngsters today check their cellphones every ten to fifteen minutes to see if they have any text messages and if they do, there’s the wasted class time of responding to them.
I wondered how most of my readers fare when it comes to being truthfully honest about how much digital crack they need and how often?
Test Your D-Crack Habit
Question: You are at home watching your favorite television show with your family/significant other/child and hear a text notification sound from your cellphone. You,
- Go read the text
- Ignore the text
Question: At home you have a PC, a laptop and a tablet and a smartphone?
Question: You are signed up for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, MySpace, Reddit, LinkedIn and Google+.
- What are these things?
Question: You leave your PC/Laptop on 24/7?
Question: Your smartphone has the capability of Internet, Skype, Google Searching, sharing apps, tons of other apps, texting must have apps, Draw Something and Alex Baldwin’s favorite, Words With Friends
- Yes, I need all of those things on my phone!
- No, what is Skype?
Question: You email or text instead of calling.
Question: You’re at the movies seeing the latest hot movie. You:
- Put your cellphone on vibrate
- Leave the cellphone at home or in the car
Question: You like your teacher/professor because his/her entire course and helpful study tips are online instead of in a booklet.
- I have one cool teacher!
- I wish I had something I could hold and read
Question: The last time you went to the library to actually rent a books was:
- I never go and can’t remember the last time
- What’s a library?
- I go at least once a month
- Why rent for free! I can buy anything on my Kindle/Nook, etc.
Question: You love something so much, like sports, you get sports updates on your smartphone.
- Yes, I can’t live without knowing what will happen to Tim Tebow
- No, I can get updates on ESPN and no I don’t have an app for that
Question: Your wife is in labor with your second child (which usually comes faster). You are browsing YouTube when she says “It’s time.” You:
- Browse some more, she can wait.
- Immediately stop watching YouTube and get her to the hospital
Question: While your wife is in labor, you:
- Watch more YouTube videos on your smartphone
- Text everyone you know on your smartphone about the state of the delivery
- You left your smartphone at home or in the car
Question: Your husband/partner is having a kidney stone attack while you’re browsing Pinterest boards. You:
- Tell him to take a Tylenol and get over it, it too shall “pass”
- You take him to the ER for pain meds
Question: You took this test because?
- You think you have a digital crack problem
- To prove you don’t have a digital crack problem
Okay, I’m not expert at scoring these sort of quizzes but I bet if you analyzed what answers you chose, you can pretty much figure out if you’re an D-Crack Addict.
A final thought. If you do attend Cal State and have a class with Professor Rosen, leave the technology outside or you’ll be asked to leave—and he’s serious.
Dahlby, Tracy, Austin American-Statesman, “Our Digital Mindset” July 22, 2012.