The Student Voice of MU Since 1955
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Column: The importance of social cues and why they might just keep me from committing various violent crimes

Don’t Skype in the Student Center basement. Period.

Abigail Fisher

April 9, 2014

The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.

On this campus, people are analyzing literature, speaking foreign languages, studying quantum mechanics and so much more. All that learning must take a hell of a lot of observation.

But are we really paying attention to anything around us?

Social cues make the world go round. They keep my head from exploding in situations that don’t involve lying in bed binge-watching Fox’s “House.” And I’m sure they prevent many violent murders every year.

Unfortunately for the ceiling in the basement of the MU Student Center, my cranium figuratively exploded last week due to someone’s extreme lack of observation.

After two mentally straining classes, learning that my third class of the day was canceled, walking as fast as someone who hates moving can to the Student Center to catch the bus home, and then getting stuck behind a tour group and ultimately missing that bus, I retired to an armchair in the basement to wait out the next grueling 30 minutes when the bus would return.

If you’ve never been in the basement of the Student Center, go there. Right now. It’s easily the most beautiful place on campus. There are couches, armchairs and giant mats for people to lie down on. There’s even a damn fireplace. But the best part of this special room is its quiet, serene, library-like atmosphere. The only sounds one should hear down there are the occasional snore of a sleeping student or the click of laptop keys as someone basks in the serenity and gets some work done, too. So why in the name of all that is good and holy and quiet was the girl sitting in the chair across from me having a conversation on Skype? I understand that she might have needed peace and quiet to successfully converse, but why here? Couldn’t she see that everyone around her, including myself, silently and metaphorically shot lasers at her through our eyes?

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed a sharp increase in the vulgarity and frequency of my tweets during this 30-minute period. I DO NOT suggest reading these tweets if you are of the faint of heart or within 100 yards of an elementary school. Side effects may include fainting, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, skin rash and/or a loss of all hope for humanity.

How I didn’t go into rage-induced cardiac arrest is a mystery to me. (Maybe I should see a doctor about that.) My blood pressure must be awfully low for it to rise as much as it did without any adverse effects.

Thankfully for the safety of those around me, after about 15 minutes, the girl finally said goodbye and ended her conversation, returning my safe haven to a tranquil state.

I can understand not knowing the inner-workings of every place you visit. I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes you just don’t know what the correct behavior is in certain situations. I’ve been that girl in front of you in line at the coffee shop who has no idea what to order. But I feel like a quick glance around the room should have been enough to tell that girl that the Student Center basement was not the place to Skype with her long-distance significant other.

There aren’t always strict rules in society, but a lack of respect for those around you and the environment you’re in can really mess with other people’s heads — like mine. It’s currently splattered on the ceiling.

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