“I’m not deaf, I’m ignoring you.”
Posted May 27, 2016on:
If you have been (un)fortunate to receive my out-of-office automated email response, you know that I start with “I’m not deaf, I’m ignoring you.”
Now here is a message that instructors, particularly those that rely on lecturing, should not ignore: Students do not ignore you because they have technology. They ignore you because you are boring them.
If some people do not want to listen to or interact with other people, they will find something else to do.
The tweet above is funny because it is true. Before phones got our rapt attention, people focused on their needlework, newspapers, sketchpads, or anything remotely more interesting.
If a task is mundane or not meaningful, people will avoid it and find something more worthwhile to do.
If the people are students, they are not necessarily being anti-social or disrespectful. They quickly make value judgements. They decide if what you have to offer is worth their time and effort. If it is not, they are not pretending to be deaf. They are just ignoring you.
Are you deaf to their call or my message? Or do you choose to ignore us?