Banning Internet in Schools... Due to Shopping!

University of Chicago Law School recently announced plans to eliminate internet access in most of its classrooms, due to causing unnecessary distractions for the students. This is rare for Law schools, where most every student owns a laptop and frequently brings it to class. U.Chicago is enforcing supposedly the first institution-wide ban; most schools leave it up to the individual faculty member to decide what will be tolerated in the classroom. Apparently this took place in April, but the first I heard about it was this week.

The reason I’m writing about this here is because the decision was impacted by actions beyond typical email or Facebook usage during lecture time — including FASHION! To quote a memo written by Dean Saul Levmore, “Remarkably, usage appears to be contagious, if not epidemic. Several observers have reported that one student will visit a gossip site or shop for shoes and within 20 minutes, an entire row is shoe shopping.”

This made me think more about where people are physically when they typically shop online — at school, home, work, or elsewhere? I’d argue that the benefits of being in a place such as work or school are largely what Dean Levmore mentioned…you can have the collective opinion of others to weigh in before you add to your credit card bill! Not to mention, having a greater chance to nab the best deals when items are still available early in the day…

What about you? Where are you when you typically shop online?