Mandel: Students on silent mode — but why?

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Prof. Jack K. Mandel, MBA

Nassau Community College

Quick question — see anything strange about the four students in the photograph? Bet you have NO clue… but I do.

You see, although they are all standing in close proximity to each other (probably inches away) there are no facial or communicative recognition of each other. They are probably in the same class, waiting for it to begin — but you would never know it.

I call it being in a “personal time zone warp.”

And unfortunately, this is what has become the norm. Not only in colleges, but in the workplace, the playground, the library, in a restaurant, in a mall — EVERYWHERE!

Look, we will never be back to the days of rotary phones; in fact, landlines may become extinct in another decade or two. Believe me, only those of us 30 and over can appreciate a public pay phone and the privacy it gave an individual. Today, if you talk on your cell, YOUR business is now MY business. No one seems to care about privacy.

And I don’t seem to get it. It’s almost like an addiction. Students in high schools and colleges need to be told over and over again to put their mobile device away — again, and again.

And don’t think it is totally appropriate to text a “thank you” after a job interview. NO, NO, NO! A phone call or a written (huh?) letter is far more meaningful and shows greater thought and interest.texters0001
It is almost like the SPOKEN word has lost its place in society. I have to laugh when I think back to my early days of teaching at Nassau Community College (early 1980s). Everyone talked, and a really personal class would have to be told to calm down so I could take attendance. Today, I walk into TOTAL SILENCE as each student is in their “personal time zone warp.”

Readers, what do you think? Have a great spring 2015 semester! And please, “speak up a little more!” LOL!

Professor Mandel teaches marketing at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. He is the recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Teacher Award conferred by the NYS Association of Two-Year Colleges. He is also a “Best of Long Island Winner” for in the Teaching category from the Long Island Press.

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