While waiting for the final minutes to tick away before his 1 p.m. class started, a student pretending to text to avoid socializing with his classmates was startled to find he actually did have a text.
Josh Watkins, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said he pulled out his phone just before class in hopes he would not have to talk to anyone in the awkward silence.
“Like everyone else, I’m always glued to my phone as I wait for the professor to walk in,” Watkins said. “I usually reload Twitter 15 times, check for Facebook notifications I don’t have and look at old texts. But today, with an actual text coming in, I had a real reason to have my phone out. Surreal.”
Beth McCoy, a junior in the College of Health Sciences, was sitting next to Watkins at 12:59 p.m., the time he received the text, and said she was stunned to see his iPhone screen light up with the notification.
McCoy was also pretending to text at the time.
“I couldn’t believe it,” McCoy said. “In all the years I pretended to text in those awkward five minutes immediately before classes start, I never had an actual, legitimate reason to be looking at my phone. Who is he to be so popular?”
A majority of the other students in the class did not notice Watkins’ received a text message because they were too focused on their own phones. Watkins said he did not end up responding to the text, as the professor walked in 30 seconds later, which reinforced his habit of believing the phone no longer served a purpose.
An exit survey of the class found that all 25 students in the class checked their phones while waiting for it to start. Eight checked Twitter, four scrolled through old texts, and another 13 ignored the exit survey all together as they pulled their phones out immediately when they walked out the door.