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C U L8R: Communication affected by gas prices

June 26, 2008

by David Awalt

A wise man once sang, “Schoooool’s out…for…summer!”

This wise man was Alice Cooper and his
excitement for a summer without school rang
clear.

However, for some college students, summer
school or no school at all means having to part with friends for three months.

These days it has become easier to communicate with friends, which is a necessity while gas reaches $4 per gallon.

Lindsay Weaver, a junior speech pathology major, lives in Alexandria this summer, but
her boyfriend, Caleb Fryer,lives in Monroe and attends the University of Louisiana at
Monroe.

“I talk to [Caleb] every day on the phone, usually a couple of times,” Weaver said.
“But I’m working full time as a receptionist so I’m kind of tired of talking on the phone
by the end of the day.”

Other than the phone, Weaver mentioned Facebook and text messaging as alternate
means of communicating with her boyfriend as well as other friends.

Through networking Web site like Facebook and MySpace, college students from all over the world can communicate with the click of a mouse.

Thanks to the addition of Facebook chat, an
instant messaging application, communication
with friends has become even faster.

Jake Dugard, a senior communication design
major, is in Africa this summer doing mission
work.

On the rare occasion he can find Internet
access, he uses Facebook to shoot his friends a short note to let them know he is thinking about them.

Meghan Mills, a junior merchandising major,
said she would much rather take a road trip to visit someone than talk on the phone.

“The phone and Facebook are great, but sometimes I just want to see the person,” Mills said. “Gas is so freaking expensive, though, that I can’t really afford to.”

As gas prices sit uncomfortably at $4 per gallon, road trips to see friends on weekends are becoming a luxury rather than a usual occurrence.

“It costs me about $40 for a round trip,” Weaver said about her trips to see Fryer.
“We try and take turns every weekend, but we start to get drained for cash because of it.”

So what does this mean for stereotypically poor college students separated from their
friends for three months?

Does it mean the death of road trips all together?

“Don’t stay out of touch with your friends because of gas!” Weaver said, regarding
the option of not seeing friends the whole summer.

“Since we’re in college, nobody really lives
close,” she said. “Ride together and split the costs. Try to make it to where everyone gets together at once. We’re only young once! We need to have fun in the summer and not let fuel costs get in our way.”

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