Texting Tommy is right

Rebecca Dunphy, Staff writer

At the end of every class, it’s a similar routine: The professor dismisses, students grab their stuff, and immediately phones are in hand.

Who knows what could be missed during a single class?

A snapchat, text, phone call or email may be waiting for us, but is this need to check our phones potentially harmful?

On Feb. 8, Mercyhurst sent out a mass email to students with the subject “The Troubles of Texting Tommy,” which included a brief public service announcement about the dangers of distracted cell phone usage.

While the video was hyperbolic with “Texting Tommy” acting especially reckless, it did raise an important question about when and where we should use our cellphones on campus.

Growing up, everyone hears the dangers of texting and driving, but very few address the more common issues we face everyday staring down at our phone screens while traveling around campus.

Yes, driving distracted may offer a much more severe outcome, but the commonality of distracted walking makes it an issue that should still be addressed.

With stop signs seen just as a suggestion, everyone should be especially aware of their surroundings when in parking lots, crossing the street or in other potentially hazardous areas.

These can be areas with lots of student traffic, stairs or the icy patches that have become all too common around campus.

Another issue that the video failed to address is the inhibition of social interactions when distracted.

It is all too easy to miss a person walking by because we’re looking at that same person’s Instagram post.

Besides, a “hello” and “how are you?” in person are much more value than a double tap.

To sum it all up, yes, I do think that the “Texting Tommy” video was a bit cheesy, but it does draw our attention to a bad habit we could all improve upon.

So if you’re reading this on a mobile device, maybe put the phone away and take a look at what’s all around you.