The Perils of Bovine Text Messaging: The Issue That Continues Needs to Be in Context

Giving Tricia Orlando her due, contextually, that is.

The following was written on the WORD’s facebook page several days ago:

So, what do WORD friends think about the following? One of my students was directly warned about text messaging during my ethics class last semester. There were warnings to other students. And the warnings are spelled in the class syllabus. But she text nevertheless, and instead of flunking her, I told her in class she would lose one grade off her final grade for the violation. Her final grade was C.

I’ve been exploring the relevance of Social Media Networking after several students clued me in a few years ago. Read a few academic papers, read a lot of mainstream stuff and decided one way to explore was to engage. The post about texting in class was part of that. There were a few comments and then a student who was in the same class as the unidentified student, and who had signed on as a WORD facebook friend, and who had also had been penalized for text messaging, joined the discussion.

Her story provided a self-serving version. She didn’t write about what actually occurred in class. Her version made her look better than the actual scene of the disruption she caused when she jumped up in class, cell phone in hand and next to her cheek, and exclaimed aloud, an expletive, capturing the attention of, without exaggerating, everyone in class. Her classroom demeanor up until that moment had been ragged but the cellphone pushed the raggedness way over the line.

But let the facebook posts do the talking.

So, posted on the WORD facebook was this link of a YouTube anecdote: “Woman falls into fountain at mall while texting on her cell phone … [approaching 1.9 million-plus hits]: Link.


… and added was this message:

Two students whose final grades were reduced one grade because of text messaging in my class despite several warnings should view this as a metaphorical message about the inappropriateness of bovine messaging at the wrong time.

And Tricia Orlando posted this final post:

The plot thickens.

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