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The Internet Has EVERYTHING. Maybe You Should Try It.

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2023

I’m a student. I have the misfortune that one day a week, I have a class in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a sizeable gap between them. I could go home, but I decide to make the most of the time to study on campus.

Today, I’ve caught up on my assigned reading and have decided to get some lunch in a café. Although the café is on campus, it’s open to both students and non-students. 

While studying, I have also gotten into learning German via an app with a green owl as the mascot. As I’m munching away on my food, I have one earbud in while I go through some lessons on the app.

At the table next to me is an older couple. The man keeps looking over occasionally and scowling at me.

Man: “Typical. Kids can’t go two seconds without their eyes glued to a screen.”

I ignore him.

Man: “They could be reading or learning something new, but no, they just sit glued to their phones. Ridiculous.”

The man raises his voice slightly, clearly intending for me to hear him. The woman he’s with slaps his arm.

Woman: “Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and eat your pasty.”

Man: “Well, it’s just ridiculous. It’s rotting their brains, all these phones. Look at her, transfixed by some stupid video.”

Annoyed, I look up at him.

Me: “Can I help you?”

The man grins smugly.

Man: “Ah, coming up for air, ay? Good to see you can tear yourself away from that infernal thing for a second. I’m sure it won’t last.”

The woman looks like she wishes the ground would swallow her.

Me: “How is me using my phone to learn a new language affecting you in any way?”

I turn my phone to show him.

Man: “Oh. Well, how was I supposed to know you were doing that?”

Me: “So, you didn’t know for sure what I was doing? You just decided I was watching a video? Even if I was, it’s none of your business. It’s not affecting you in any way. Maybe you should try learning a new skill or bettering yourself instead of hassling strangers with ignorant comments.”

The woman laughs. The man refuses to look at me anymore, and he starts to grumble under his breath.

Woman: “I told you to mind your business.”

The man begrudgingly went back to his lunch. I went back to learning more German.

I’d like to think the man learned a lesson that day, but judging by his grumbling and glares at other people using their phones, he didn’t learn a thing.

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