Controlling the Phone

In my NYU classes, I don’t dictate “turn your phones off”.

What seems to work better for the students and the professor is to ask “how do we want to deal with our phones”.

I explain what I need – their attention.

They usually say they would like to be able to use their phones (to text not call) if something is important to which I say “I’ll respect your right to walk out in the hall if you need to”.

By setting ground rules that are specific to everyone involved (they differ with each group), all of us have a stake in what we’ve decided.

Sound like a plan for home, work or elsewhere where the phone has become life not a lifeline?