With heads down, students at HCC sit outside their classrooms rapidly scrolling or tapping away on their cell phones, waiting for classes to start.
The vast majority of students at Hutchinson Community College own a smart phone and are frequent users of different apps.
Most students consulted on campus said that the number one app they checked was messages, and their number two app was generally some form of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or something similar.
However, the reason for why the students reach for their electronic devices between classes might be surprising.
Danica Wente, Burrton, chooses to be on her phone between classes to avoid cliques and other awkward situations.
“I keep myself occupied so I don’t feel so awkward,” Wente said.
Jessica Yenni, Norman, Oklahoma, expressed similar feelings.
Her choice of apps to check between classes are Facebook and Messages; her reason for checking them has a familiar ring.
“I’m pretty socially awkward,” Yenni said. “It’s not because I feel I lack the skills, but I don’t want to talk to people because I don’t like them,” Yenni said.
Other students, particularly female students, said that they are on their phones between classes to avoid conversations with guys in particular.
Such was the case of Danielle Souleret, Hutchinson, and Georgia Lupton, United Kingdom.
Both ladies agreed that they would sometimes get on their phones to avoid conversations with guys and the rude comments that are sometimes directed at them.
Lupton also said she would get on her favorite apps — Facebook and Twitter — simply out of boredom or to avoid being social.
Many students simply want to talk to someone, that is, people who are not around them. Angelica Soria, Topeka, said she checks her phone simply because she enjoys texting her friends.
Other reasons ranged from curiosity, boredom, or simply because their phone was vibrating so they checked it.
So even though it may seem students are deeply focused on their phones, chances are they fighting off boredom and dodging awkward conversations.