Can You Hear Me, Finally?

Ferris senior enjoys a cell phone for the first time

Making the Connection: Steve Linebaugh, a Ferris senior, adds contacts to his very first cell phone. Friends are pleased that they can now call Linebaugh, though his move was also motivated by the need to communicate with potential employers. Photo By: Kristyn Sonnenberg | Photo Editor
In today’s world of quick texts and emoticons, Steve Linebaugh is one of the few students new to the social norm of having a cell phone.

A 2006 graduate of Belding High School, Linebaugh went the majority of his college career at Ferris phoneless. Using online networking Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook, Linebaugh still remained able to keep in close contact with both family and friends.

For Linebaugh, having a cell phone was not the necessity it seemed to be for most college students.

“I had never seen it as a necessity. People knew how to get a hold of me if they really needed to,” said Linebaugh. “I keep contact on Facebook with people quite a bit, and other than that I would just visit them where they lived.”

Being pressured by many of his friends to buy a cell phone, Linebaugh’s refusal to do so soon gained him a reputation for being the one friend no one was able to call.

Linebaugh’s growing reputation for having no cell phone and being so hard to get ahold of resulted in the creation of the Facebook fan site, “People Who Think Steve Linebaugh Should Get a Cell Phone!!”

Created by Kyle Sluiter, the Facebook site began to collect a modest following of Ferris students interested in Linebaugh’s unusual circumstance. As the site began to gather more attention, so did his need for a less computer-based form of communication.

While pursuing internship opportunities, he began to realize his inability to contact employers limited his job searching success. Understanding the need to expand his networking resources led to the eventual purchase of his first phone, a Boost mobile i290.

Having a cell phone provided Linebaugh with more than a casual conversation between classes; it gave him the opportunity to have contact with numerous potential employers.

“I finally got a phone because I am working toward an internship right now,” said Linebaugh.

Now in his senior year at FSU, the mechanical engineering technology student is continuing his search for an internship. He hopes one day his newfound freedom of communication will allow him to expand his future employment opportunities.