If you go to class, pay attention

There are a great deal of things that I just don’t understand about college life.

Setting aside ample time to study and learning how to talk to women are at the top of that long list so far, but I’ll save those for another column.

What’s on my mind right now is a question that has become more and more relevant with the arrival of the information age: Why do people come to class if they’re just not going to pay attention?

Now, I’m not talking about the sleep-deprived kid who falls asleep on your shoulder and drools on you in the middle of those two-hour class periods — each and every one of us has a day like that. I’m thinking more along the lines of that person who’s sitting in front of you looking up pictures of cats dressed in tuxedos while riding a unicycle.

Absurd, right?

I’ve never really understood why people find those ridiculous felines so funny in the first place, but enjoying them on one’s own time is understandable. I can’t tell you what to do with your free time.

But what is absolutely beyond me is why people decide to bring these sorts of distractions into the classroom.

Now, I know how nerdy and Carlton Banks-like that sounded of me, but this phenomenon really puzzles me.

Listen, I probably go on Facebook just as much as the rest of the student body. I have a Twitter account, and I play an extremely unhealthy number of solitaire games on a daily basis. Personally, I don’t bring my laptop with me to class just because I know I’ll end up hopping on ESPN.com and wasting the period away.

So I get it: Our generation is somewhat addicted to technology.

But why — here I go with that Carlton Banks stuff again — does it need to be brought into the classroom? Can you really not go without Tweeting your thoughts for one class period? Is “poking” that cute girl, who you’re still working up the courage to ask out, such a dire matter?

For most of you, I’m sure you’re unaware that your Tumblr is distracting to others, namely those behind you. But the giant laptop screen commands the attention of wandering eyes. We all get bored in class. As our focus dwindles, our eyes flit to the brightly lit screen and, while we might not be terribly interested in what TMZ has to say this week, we’re looking for anything that is more interesting than plate tectonics.

So here’s a very simple solution for those who just can’t seem to stay off the Internet during lectures: Don’t go to class.

I know your parents and teachers always want you to go to class, but what’s the point of even going if you’re mentally checked out the entire time? Why not sit in the comfort of your own living space and watch those cat videos? At least there you’re allowed to sit around in your underwear and can save yourself the walking trip to class.

That way those who are easily distracted, such as myself, can focus on class material, and those who choose to distract themselves can do so without worrying about others creeping on their Facebook profiles.

So there you have it: just the excuse you needed to skip class. You’re welcome.

Reach reporter Tyler Hartung at opinion@dailyuw.com.

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