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My pet peeves

Steph Wulz | Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Recently in an interview, they asked me what my pet peeves were and why they bothered me. I figured I’d share my responses with you, since you may feel the same way about them and because I was on a deadline to get this Inside Column written.
The first one was simple: slow walkers. It gets pretty frustrating when you are walking down South Quad and the people in front of you are walking at the pace of a snail. Let it be known that I do appreciate those who take in their surroundings and take some time to breathe in the cold, crisp winter air, but when you are dragging your feet and taking up the entire sidewalk with your group of friends, it can really bog a girl down. Either way, this was only the foundation. The real pet peeve was the icing on the cake.
Texting during meals. Man, do I sound old, but take a second to hear me out. If I am going with someone to a meal, why do they have to be connected with selected members of their social network on their phone? I can understand if you are awaiting an important email, call or Snapchat (level of importance debatable), but if we are sitting together, why can’t we have a conversation without frequent texting interruptions?
More recently, my friends and I have realized that our phones were keeping us from some great conversation. We attempted to remedy this by stacking all of our phones in a pile in the middle of the table. Therefore, when someone’s phone would buzz we wouldn’t know whose it was. We could talk about the interesting music selection in South Dining Hall or why the squirrels here are so domesticated. This tactic actually started to really impact our daily conversations. As tempting as it was to reach for our phones, we soon became more immersed in discussion of past embarrassing stories or what our current favorite Harlem Shake video is. Our conversations became present and progressive, rather than being blocked by the constant iPhone email checks, status updates and group texts.
Some of you will hate the idea of getting off your phone. Some may try it. It gets fun if you take this into a bar setting and challenge each other not to check your phones the entire time there. You could wager a drink and see who loses. Either way, I encourage you to chat it up a bit more. With the semester coming close to spring break, we will realize too late that our time here is limited. We don’t have much time physically together but we will always be connected through social networking later, so lay the phone down and get chatting.