Human Observation

Mobile phones are conveniences but can impinge on the privacy of other people. Generally every place of public interaction regulates that people should switch of their mobile phones. However it is observed that this code of conduct is constantly violated. (Ralph, 2002). Repeated violations of this prime principle of mobile phone etiquette have led to its inclusion time and again in all dictums on the subject. (Briody, 2005). People generally tend to avoid switching off mobile phones in, “no cell phone calls” zone due to anxiety or fear of losing contact with the support group. II. Theory.

Despite accepting the necessity of switching off mobile phones in public places, people do not comply with the same resulting in avoidable irritation. This violation of modern etiquette is an increasing trend. (Morgan, 2001). Constant connectivity provided by a utilitarian communication device creates unprecedented dependency on mobile phone in users, the absence of which leads to anxiety. Thus people tend to avoid switching off mobile phones in public places. III. Hypothesis. Students entering the library on the college campus will not switch of their mobile phones on entry as required by the library code of conduct.

The scope of the study is restricted to students entering the Library and not to college professors or other staff. Library Code of Conduct. Library code of conduct requires mobile phones to be switched off to prevent disturbing fellow students. Adopting the silent, meeting or vibrator mode on the phone does not construe as switching off the mobile phone as the user can receive an indication of a call and would be tempted to converse on the phone leading to disturbance to other library users. IV.
Procedure or Methodology. The investigator placed himself in the main hall of the library during the week end on Saturday and Sunday during the library working hours from 1000 hours to 1400 hours on both days. An assistant was placed in the second reading room on the first floor during the same time to record findings. They could visually see a student on entrance and thus note whether he had put off his mobile phone or not. They could also hear ring tone of mobile phone in their respective areas.
The investigator also arranged to obtain mobile phone numbers of all students based on their library records for this investigation against an integrity certificate that this information would not be used for any other purpose. The investigators noted the name of the student who was not seen switching off his mobile phone on entry in the library and having tallied his phone number from library records awaited for a ring tone on the subject’s mobile phone.
After passage of one hour, the investigator(s) rang up the mobile phone number of the student carrying the phone without switching off and who had not received a call to confirm that he was indeed carrying his phone and had not switched it off. A tally sheet was used to record details of students who visited the library during the period, students who had switched off the mobile phone on entry, those who had not switched off the phone and received a call, those who were called by the investigators and responded, those called by the investigators and who did not respond.
The gender and term record of students was also maintained. V. Results. 52 Students used the library on Saturday and 48 students used the library on Sunday from 1000 hours to 1400 hours on each day. The results of students observed on Saturday indicated that 13 students switched off their mobile phones on entering the library, 34 students attended the calls including 28 student’s calls not initiated by the investigators and 6 student’s calls initiated by the investigators. 5 students did not attend any calls in the library and presumably did not carry mobile phones.
(Baseline Information Observation, 2006). The result of students observed on Sunday indicated that 11 students switched off their mobile phones on entering the library, 33 students attended the calls including 24 student’s calls not initiated by the investigators and 9 student’s calls initiated by the investigators. Only 4 students did not attend any calls in the library. The gender pattern of 13 students who had switched off their mobile phones on Saturday indicated that 9 were female and 4 were male. While of the 11 students on Sunday, 8 were female and 3 were male.
The gender pattern of 34 students who attended calls on Saturday indicated that 22 were female and 12 were male. While of the 33 students who attended calls on Sunday 19 were female and 14 were male. The term pattern of the 13 students who had switched off their mobile phones on Saturday indicated that 9 were IInd term or higher and 4 were first term students. The term pattern of students who had switched off their mobile phones on Sunday indicated that 8 were IInd Term or higher and 3 were first term students.
The Term pattern of the 34 students who attended calls on Saturday indicated that 21 were first term students and the remainder were IInd Term or higher. The Term pattern of students who attended calls on Sunday indicated that 15 were first term students while remainder were IInd Term or higher. VI. Discussion The results of students who had switched off telephones analyzed from gender pattern indicate that on Saturday 69 percent and on Sunday 72 percent were female. While the gender pattern of those attending calls on Saturday indicated that 65 % were female and 35 % male and on Sunday 58 % were female and 42 % male.
The term pattern of students who had switched off mobile phones indicated that only 30 percent were first term students and the balance were IInd Term or higher on both days. While those who attended calls indicated that 61 % were first term student and the remainder were IInd Term or higher. A review of the results has proved the hypothesis that students entering the library on the college campus will not switch of their mobile phones on entry as required by the library code of conduct. The results clearly indicate that a majority of students did not switch off their mobile phones on entering the library.
This percentage was 75 % on Saturday and 77 % on Sunday. Of those who had not switched off their mobile phones in the library, 87 % attended to a call in the library violating norms on Saturday and 89 % on Sunday. The review of the gender pattern and the term pattern of students indicates that the tendency amongst females to switch off mobile phones was higher than males while first term students were prone not to switch off their sets on entering library. On the other hand amongst those who attended to calls in the library, a majority were female and first term students.
This supports the premise that there is a possible link between the level of anxiety and tendency not to switch mobile phones on entering a no calls zone for fear of losing contact with the support group even for a limited period of time thereby missing important information or happening in their lives. The first term and female students are considered more vulnerable amongst the student community. The results attained could not be discussed directly with the participants to further seek their underlying assumptions and reasons for not switching off mobile phones and attending to calls in the library.
This would have added greater credibility to the research but due to constraints could not be done so. Behavior Change VII. State the Problem. Observation results support the theory that due to high levels of anxiety people generally do not switch of their mobile phones on entering no call zones. The dependency syndrome created by the mobile phone thus needs to be altered. (Harrison, 2000). VIII. Theory. Mobile phones reduce anxiety and hence people tend to avoid switching them off even while inside a no call zone. Communicating with ones peer group is an essential feature of anxiety.
Mobile phones enable us to remain connected with our support group at all times which indicates that in case people remain close to their in group, there would be reason to believe that they will comply with instructions on cell phone etiquette. IX. Hypothesis. Students entering the college library will switch of their mobile phones in case they come to the library with their, “in” group. The, “in” group comprises of those students who provide primary support in college. X. Procedure or Methodology The focus group was the first term students of the college.
Library attendance was planned in groups for the first term. This was done with the assistance of the college administration on two days a Saturday and Sunday from 1000 to 1400 hours. The cooperation of the college administration was forthcoming given the pay offs of better mobile phone discipline in the college library. The first term students were selected keeping in view their greater likelihood to use mobile phones when staying away from their support group. The investigator along with the assistant retained a record as indicated in IV above.
XI. Results. Six small first term groups attended the library on Saturday and five groups on Sunday. Each group comprised of three to four students, thereby total sample in a day varied from 15 to 20 students. The groups were comprised evenly of both the genders and gender comparison has not been undertaken. Of the six groups on whom data was gathered on Saturday, all students in four groups had switched off their mobile phones on entering the library. Two students one each from the other two groups did not switch off their mobile phones.
Both the students attended to calls which were external and not from the investigators. Of the five groups on whom data was collected on Sunday, all students in four groups switched off their mobile phones on entering the library. One student from the fifth group did not switch off his mobile phone. The student attended to the call from an external source. XII. Discussion The overwhelmingly positive response of the student groups indicates that when these students did not feel anxiety to communicate with their peers on telephone, their adherence to the rules was much better.
There were only three students who violated the code. Each of these had received an external call. This indicates likelihood of their expecting calls other than from their, “in” group and thus leading them to carry their mobile phones. Thus an effective link of reduction of anxiety through availability of mobile phones has been clearly established, while at the same time there is a clear correlation of a high degree of dependence on mobile phones in people which needs to be overcome with more structured corrective interventions.
The evolution of such interventions could form a further subject of research as the problem of mobile phone call interruptions is a perpetual one. While technology has attempted to resolve the same through measures such as silent mode, behavioral interventions also need consideration which can be a subject of structured research. Reference 1. Morgan, John. (2001). Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners. New York: Thomas Dunne. 2. Harrison, Linda (2000). The dos and don’ts of mobile phone etiquette. Retrieved on 02 January 2007 from http://www.
theregister. co. uk/2000/06/01/the_dos_and_donts/. 3. Ralph, Louise. (2002). Look who’s talking: mobile phone etiquette. Retrieved on 02 January 2007 from http://www. econnect. com. au/pdf/quicktips/mobile. pdf. 4. Briody, Dan. (2005). The Ten Commandments of cell phone etiquette. Retrieved on 02 January 2007 from http://www. infoworld. com/articles/op/xml/00/05/26/000526opwireless. html. 5. Baseline Information Observation. (2006). Observations recorded during experiment. 6. Behavior Change. (2006). Observations recorded during experiment.

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