Print Edition: January 25, 2012
Winter literally came and went in a week, and UFV caved pretty quickly. School cancellations are awesome at first. Everyone on Facebook goes: “Yes!! SNOW DAY!!” and after typing that status, we don’t know what do to. Maybe tweet it? Okay.
Just a little while ago we would have been out there with our sleds and toboggans, but not anymore. Why is that? We’re feeble, sickly students now. We have no sleep, poor diets, the cold, the norovirus, and we stare at a twitter feed all day. The best we can do is turn up the thermostat, shake our fist at the loud neighbour kids from the window, shut the blinds and hunch in front of our computers. And that sounds pretty darn good to me.
But snow days aren’t really all that they’re cracked up to be. If only UFV shut down SunGard on snow days, too. But no. The only good thing SunGard does for us is post “All Fraser Valley Locations are CLOSED” (with very satisfying capital lettering) on our announcements. But then along with the announcement come emails from professors. “Do your readings, plus these supplementary readings attached, which we will discuss next class.” So yes, we can tweet “Snow day 5.0! Woot!” – but at what cost?
Essentially, the problem with communication these days is communication. There’s too much of it. People are taking advantage of the fact that we can communicate. It doesn’t stop at snow days. Getting lost? When you were alone, wandering through malls and forests, for hours on end? A phone takes that from you. And then when you were sitting alone, and you didn’t have a phone to text intently into so no one thought you’d be dumb enough to actually sit there all alone. You just sat there! Remember that?
We’re missing that ‘bored thinking time.’ If you’ve got a spare moment, you immediately find something to do on the phone instead of entertaining yourself. Because with a phone, you’re never really by yourself. You’re sort of like professor Quirrell in Harry Potter, and the phone is like Voldemort. Quirrell was never by himself either. That phone is attached to you.
One of these days, I’m going to be a case study. It will be called, “Case Study: A Girl With No Cell Phone.” I have no cell phone. People think I’m doing it for a cause. Maybe a hipster thing, like, “the objectification of communication.” I think it’s nice for them to try to salvage some dignity for me, but no. I just don’t have a cell phone. I fit into the same ranks as young children and the elderly. I don’t know what ROFL means. It sounds rude, like a gag reflex to me. I get lost, and I sit there like some dumb person.
But, phone or not, I can say I shared those bittersweet snow days. First, the announcement – then the emails. Responsibility is hand-in-hand with communication. We all lost something to the greedy jaws of responsibility those five days. Maybe it’s time to stop talking, because having so many ways to communicate makes it easier for other people to say stuff we don’t want to hear.