The Science of Happiness
Love It: No-Laptop Rules — Michelle C. Lara

When laptops are allowed, I know the shopping preferences of everyone around me and which emails they read and then promptly ignore. On the first day of class, the girl in front of me is already shopping for shoes while the guy seated next to her is dropping the class. Laptops are so distracting, and when you have access to an online world that steals your attention in two seconds, it becomes super easy to fall into the trap. Not only does this distract the people around you, but it also distracts you, who could learn so much more if all you had was a pen, paper, and the professor’s words (like how they used to do it in the archaic times). On top of that, laptops tempt you into writing every small thing, but not all the points a professor makes are relevant or new information. No matter the type of learner you are, this is a valuable skill for when you have to read long texts and decipher what’s important. Plus, the people behind you probably think your taste in sneakers is trash.

Hate It: No-Laptop Drools — Rocket S. Claman

I write this from my laptop, sitting in class. I have taken eleven lines of notes this lecture. I have also read all the chapter summaries for the book I was supposed to finish for class today, answered a bunch of emails, and filled out a When2meet. I answered a question posed in class so I could get my participation points. I also ate a vegan cookie from Pavement. I didn’t need a laptop to do that, but it feels important to mention. Needless to say, it’s been a very productive hour and 15 minutes.

The class is over, and yet the lecture is continuing. Classic. Anyways, here’s why no-laptop rules in classes suck.

  1. Did you not just read how much I accomplished with my laptop in this class? I took notes, looked at the lecture slides that are posted on Canvas, basically read a whole book, put out some fires via email, and also texted this girl from my internship about becoming a detective. What can you do with a notebook? Doodle? Sneak glances at your phone? Tragic.

  2. Confession: I typically don’t take notes on my laptop. Well, Rocket, why are you writing a “Hate It” about anti-laptop rules? Because I hate them.

  3. Life doesn’t stop just because you’re in class. Sure, ideally everyone can pay attention for the entire class, but let’s be real, that’s not always the case. It’s much less disruptive to answer a text or an email via laptop than via phone.

  4. You never have to print your readings, so you save money on printing.

Why would anyone NOT use laptops in class?