Doodling Is Dead, Texting Is In

college boredom

I have a new policy this semester. Texting is allowed. In fact, it’s encouraged. Maybe I should be more specific. I’m begging you to text in class because it solves the age-old problem of whispering to your neighbor. There’s nothing more distracting to a teacher and a class than two students gabbing it up in the back row. But now, thanks to modern technology, you can relieve your boredom without disturbing the rest of the class.


It’s a win-win.


Under this new policy, students are required to exchange cell numbers with their friends in class. When the urge to chat arises, think fingers not mouth.


Does it bother me that you’re texting? As entertaining as I may think I am in class, I’m going to bet that most students need a few minutes of down time. I used to be a master doodler when I needed a break, a silent activity designed to give the brain a rest. I never got in trouble for it. Maybe texting serves the same purpose.


Bored in class, what are your tricks?

  • KrisXO

    I still love the casual doodling in class; I usually keep one sheet of paper for my casual mental dips out of a lesson. It still keeps me in tune with what’s going on in class without having to pay as much attention. Yes, we all have our days when the lesson seems to drag, or we’ve had a long day and just can’t seem to mentally check into school. Except once I start texting it’s almost as if I’ve stepped into another world and who knows when I might check back. This is because now our phones aren’t limited to solely communicating through texting, there are so many ways I can distract myself. It’s almost become a routine for me to unlock my phone and check my instagram, like a few pictures, refresh, like some more pictures, look at my profile, and look at some sexy man or beautiful women’s profile.Personally, I will stick to my classic choice of doodling; the only thing that has changed with my age of doodling is my choice of where to doodle. As a kid I would doodle on my shoes sitting on the carpet, sometimes on my desk in middle school, and in the columns of my papers filled with classwork. I for one am a doodle advocate because it enables a student to still be able to be somewhat attentive, unlike when texting. We can all thank auto correct and touch screen phones which limit our ability to look up and text at the same time without texting incoherent messages! Lol

  • pabzi5

    Well, I was never much of a class texter to begin with. Even If I wanted to text, It doesn’t help that the majority of professors are against texting. However, I was always an avid day-dreamer. I used to doodle and imagine being somewhere else. It didn’t matter where, just as long as it wasn’t class. My notebooks were filled with a lot of drawings and my mind was filled with different adventures. Overtime, teachers caught me not paying attention and I would always be embarrassed by my lack of response to a question. These days, I daydream less about adventures but plan on whats next for my life. I will admit that sometimes I do look on my Instagram, In hopes of finding a funny picture to make me smile during a boring class lecture. But, I guess it really is inevitable. Even if you do care about your studies, we’re still bound to “goof” off once in a while and look into other sources for distraction.

  • Kmosl

    I think that a policy of encouraging texting in class is very progressive. I, however, have mixed feelings about it. While texting is definitely less distracting than carrying on a conversation, I am still of the opinion that texting in class is impolite. All of my classes are online so I will make reference to my job with regard to this topic. At my place of employment, texting in meetings/training is highly frowned upon. Because emergencies happen, administration is aware that staff may need to take phone calls at times. As such, it is usually announced at the beginning of the session that all phones and electronic devices should be put on silent mode and, if it is necessary to take a call, it should be done outside.

    I have also never been much of a doodler. I think that this stems from my experience in a Catholic elementary school. My 6th grade teacher, Mr. Sutherland, would call on students to read aloud from our textbook. If he called your name and you were unable to pick up where the last student left off, he would give you a zero. I never wanted to be that student so I always paid close attention. In addition, I like to take good notes which obviously helped when it came time to study for tests.

    Another reason that I do not text or doodle is because I never want to give the impression to the person presenting information that s/he is boring. I, personally, do not like public speaking and know how difficult it can be. As a result, I feel like the least I can do is give the speaker my undivided attention. If I am having trouble remaining focused, I simply go to the restroom or to get a drink of water. Sometimes just the act of getting up and walking around is enough for me to regain my focus.

  • LMast

    I was never a big doodler because I always kept my notes neat. On the other hand, I am a huge in-class texter. I believe that I can focus in class, while sending a few text messages. I text in class in order to help the time pass and to keep up with what my friends are doing. I do understand why professors are against texting. There are kids in class that are obnoxious phone users. By that I mean they are obviously using their phone and they are clearly not paying attention or taking notes. If professors had an open phone policy I think that they will focus more on class then on hiding their phones. It is unavoidable to completely ban phones in class unless you take them away in the beginning. But if you focus less on the distraction, than can it really be a distraction in the first place?

  • stephwitt3

    I think the idea of texting is class is a very progressive and interesting idea. It has always been frowned upon to socialize it class, whether it be through texting or talking. As much as I appreciate this idea, and understand that texting is silent and much less disruptive than talking in class, I still feel that phones should be kept away. In one of my classes, my professor will mark up absent if we are on our phones, which is exactly what we would be, absent minded in the class. Yes of course sometimes I would love to take out my phone and send a text to my friend, whether it be important or not. But class is only 50 minutes long, and I feel as though I pay much more attention when I block my social life out of class. I feel that cell phones should be kept away for the student’s benefit. I am an avid texter and will text until class starts and as soon as it ends, but I have found that by keeping my cell phone completely away, I actually pay more attention, have a better understanding of class, and have better grades. Doodling is something I often do, but I think it takes little or no effort and I can still hear what’s going on. When I am texting, I am in that conversation, not paying attention to what is going on around me. Coming from a student, I can say that as nice as it is to hear a teacher giving us permission to use our phones, I still feel it is rude and would rather keep it away.

  • mbz1421

    In the end the professors only suffer from a mild moment of disrespect, while on the other hand, the students WALLET and EDUCATION is the one that takes a greater toll. You are in you class for a reason, that reason isn’t because you want to learn (although that plays a major role), you are in that class because you PAID to be in it. No one forced you into it, so why not get your money’s worth while you’re there? Is texting someone back 30 or 60 minutes later really that hard? Or maybe find a better/mildly efficient time to text, for example, when the teacher is switching gears, or during break. I also can’t claim to be a goody two shoes in this subject because peeking at your phone is an urge one must fight. Other distractions like day dreaming and doodling are not as easy to try and avoid as not texting.

  • jaynelleS

    I think its a great idea that you chose to embrace students texting during your lectures. I must say I used to be a severe doodler. Personally, when I doodled all over my paper, it just meant I was THAT bored and ready to go. I payed less attention during class when I doodled than when I texted friends. It’s just so simple to pick up your phone, send a text, place the phone down and continue keeping your ears open to listen to the professor. Even in my most interesting classes, I still take a quick break to look at my phone and it always irked a nerve when a professor gets angry about it. It definitely is more rude to speak during a lecture than sending a quick text or checking social media. I am really glad you are one the few professors to catch on to that.

  • JerryStAubin

    I am apart of the doodling crowd when the class takes a rather banal tone. Doodling for me, works extremely well with burying time. I think I doodle different than others. I will make about thirty dots on a page then I will connect those dots. The creation in how I choose to connect those dots is the fun part. I may move my pencil in a zig zag formation when connecting two dots or move in circles. The the “doodling” is underway and I’m lost in time. What usually results is a highly interesting doodle that is different every time. Other times when I may not doodle. I will just start staring at people to see if they’re just as bored as me. And to my surprise I see them doing their own forms of time killing activities.

  • WCCmatt

    I think letting students text in class is an interesting way of thinking of managing distractions. Kids in class will always find a way to text, or at least attempt to. I feel your decision will be a mostly positive one because you are right that students need a minute or two during a long class period to zone out and give the brain a rest. I personally was never a doodler so in my case, the texting thing would be more beneficial. It saves the noisy distraction of me talking, and you from stopping class to reprimand me from talking or texting. It is a very progressive idea that may work in your favor with new students. Hearing that the professor does not mind “occasional” texting as long as it is not disruptive could make you seem like a easy-going professor and help gain more mutual respect from your students. I know that if I came into class and the professor said that to me I would tend to have a more favorable opinion of the professor immediately.

  • vack813

    I thoroughly enjoyed your blog about texting in class. I am a texter. I hate talking on the phone I constantly text. I don’t even need to look at the keyboard. I can multitask. So while in class I can text and listen to the teacher at the same time. I am all for texting in class if you are keeping up with the lesson at hand. If your not paying attention at all then no put the phone down. But what does a text here or there hurt anyone. Its the same distraction as if someone was doodling or looking out the window. So I agree with you texting is ok in my book in class as well!

  • MarkUmbro

    Even though I aren’t really a huge in-class texter, I do tend to sketch out my fair share of doodles from time to time. I feel like doodling allows me to help pass time when needed. Everyones been in that one class that just seems to drag on and on and on; it’s not fun.

    The whole concept behind allowing students to text in class is very progressive to me. While I do a few positive things can come out of this, I feel like there are also many negatives. Personally, I feel like the only way to truly stop students from texting is to take their phones away at the beginning of class. No matter how good any given teacher is at spotting a student texting, they can’t have their eyes open all the time. They’re going to turn their back or write something on the board, and in that small amount of given time, some students will try to send out a quick text or two. However, if professors instilled an open phone policy, they would focus more on teaching their class then looking for students on their phone. Ultimately it’s a win-win. At the end of the day, if the student has the choice whether or not to be able to use their phone, it’s up to them on how well they do in the class. If someone slacks off because they pay attention to their phone in class instead of the professor, it’s their fault and they should own up to their actions.

  • evanpea

    i think classroom life is adapting to the 21st century. it suprises me that Mrs. verne would allow texting. though i bet she would not allow texting during test or quizes. kids could be cheating through texting. it would not matter for me since i have an online class. though i think the teacher should not encourage fooling around when your bored and not listening and learning from the teacher. lets see what the outcome of class would be with these new permissions.

  • Emily Rolnick

    As someone who is attached to my phone, I love this idea. Although I do believe texting can imply a sort of rudeness, especially while the teacher is talking, as long as he student is paying attention, it shouldn’t be a problem. As a teacher, you’re not texting, so why should we be texting? However I definitely appreciate a teacher who doesn’t mind that I’m looking at my phone, but if I were a teacher I think I’d find it a little rude. Regardless, if I was the teacher and I ask a question, the student should be able to answer it, especially if they’re on their phone. If someone can multi task, and conduct a text convo with a friend, while also listen to their professor talk about marketing strategies, than so be it. If you can multi-task, great. If a student chooses to be on their phone, that’s their own problem. I pay for my classes, and I work for my grades. If I attend class, but I’m not paying attention the entire time because I’m on Instagram, the only person that suffers is myself. However, if I can actively listen while checking my feed or talking to a friend, it shouldn’t be an issue. I absolutely despise the teachers that yell at you for being on your phone, because it’s my business if I learn, its my issue if I fail, not my professors.

  • Shruti Sadana

    First of all let me just say this is an awesome blog! Thank you for sharing this.

    I’m definitely someone who is attached to my phone as well (in response to Emily’s comment). Although, it can be such a distraction. Some of my favorite days have been when I have left my cell phone at home! It creates this anxiety for us. We don’t connect in the same way to each other. I think it can be seen as rude to text in class when the teacher is talking or someone is doing their presentation. On the other hand, I am definitely guilty of texting in class. I try my best to do it as a little as possible. Beside have you been in Professor Verne’s class? She knows how to keep us engaged in the material and I’m always eager to learn more.

    In terms of ‘texting your neighbor,’ I would actually rather talk to my “neighbor” in person. It’s nice to have a human interaction and its more personal. I remember when I was at a wedding up in the Catskills and there was no cellphone reception whatsoever! People were talking to each other, laughing, dancing, and no one was on their phone. It was amazing how much people were connecting with each other. So although I LOVE my phone, I think in class I would prefer someone telling me “not to text” during class.

  • Carmen Guillen

    I’m surprised to hear a professor say that texting is allowed in her class. I personally find this practice a bit disrespectful but it’s good to know that there is at least one professor with an open mind who allows her students to text in class. When class starts, it’s class time. I don’t like distractions when it’s time to get serious. I would not want my professor to think that a text message is more important than all the knowledge he/she has to share with me.
    I recognize that certain classes can get a little boring sometimes (Marketing 101 with Prof. Verne IS NOT an example of this, of course) but this is not an excuse for texting. As old-fashioned as I consider myself, I must confess that I love my cell phone and the couples of times I have left it at home, I have felt as if I were missing a piece. Another confession, I like to whisper to my neighbor sometimes. Perhaps I should text instead…
    I’m sure this blog made many people happy. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Olivia Schiekofer

    I find this to be a very good idea. Speaking for myself and I’m sure many others, our generation has become attached to their phones. Most of the time I spend on my phone I’m actually just mindlessly scrolling through apps to relieve my boredom. Especially in class, the minute you hear your phone go off you want to check it. Theres an immediate sense of urgency to see who is contacting you and what its about. Only very rarely do I find myself in a situation that is actually urgent and I need to respond immediately. Most of the time though, I’m not actually talking to anyone or about anything of important matters. Rather, I spend aimless time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. I also would prefer texting over a phone call any day and so I find it interesting from a teachers point of view the allowance of texting in class.