Manners Monday: Mobile ‘Phones. Oy Weh.

I know, I know, I said I was going to throw in the towel on the scheduling, but I think that is just how the creative mind works sometime. So, let’s talk mobile (cell) ‘phones.

Like them or not, mobiles have becomed engrained in our culture. I mean, there are children as young as 5 with their own ‘phones. (Not mine, mind you!) As with most inanimate objects, the mobiles themselves are not bad… But the behavior some people use whilst on their ‘phones is pretty horrendous.

Rude caller 1: People who continue their conversations on their mobiles while checking out at the market, boutique, mall, etc. Why is this rude? Because while jabbering away to your caller, you are basically ignoring the individual providing you a service! I have worked in customer service, and I know that some can be less than ideal, but does that give you a reason to flat out ignore them, fling your money at them or hold up the line behind you because you are trying to juggle your ‘phone, your possessions and whatever else you have. Do everyone a favor and just hang up.

Rude Caller 2: Those who insist on broadcasting their end of the conversation to the world, AKA, loud talkers. You tend to meet these types when confined on a bus, train, subway, plane or in line at the market. Either they really have no clue that they are talking so loudly, or they know how loud they are talking and don’t care because they really want you to know how important/cool/intellegent/well-connected they are. Really, your fellow travellors do not really care how ragin’ that party was last night, or how that ***** wore the same dress as your BFF to Ken’s house or how the Johnson merger is going. Really, we don’t care.

Rude Caller 3: The hands-free kings. Now I say kings, because nine times out of ten, the offender is a guy. These gentlemen insist on wearing their bluetooth, jawbone or other hands-free device EVERYWHERE they go, even if the aren’t on a call. You’ll see them walking though Home Depot, eating in a restaurant, playing with their kids at the park. It’s even worse when you combine rude callers numbers 1-3 and they are in line, yelling into their bluetooths.

Rude Caller 4: The “Unless you are a text message, I am ignoring you” offender. I am sad to say, usually this type of offender is a woman. Now, I am a text messenger. I love to text, in fact, I prefer texting over voice calls because you can get to the point with a text. But I discovered that I was losing skills in using the fine art of conversation because of my addiction to emails and text messaging. True story here: my husband took the girls to a “family-friendly” restaurant with an indoor play area. Also there was a 5 year old girl and her mom. Mom was glued to her phone. Little girl kept trying to get mom’s attention about something, and soon gave up and asked my 4 year old to play. The bear said yes, but she had to finish eating first. Little girl headed back to her mom and sat there. Soon, one of the employees of the restaurant walked up to mom and daughter and said something to mom. No answer from mom. He repeated his question, still no answer from her as she was texting away. (DH said he was pretty sure he was talking to mom because he was looking right at mom.) He then walked away. OK, here’s the kicker… mom then turned to her daughter and said loud enough for my husband to hear, “That was VERY RUDE of you to ignore that man!” DH said that Little girl just looked defeated.

Now, as you know, I am a mom and I now have my own business so therefore, I am on my mobile phone more often that I used to be. But at the same time, I have to make a conscious effort to be mindful of my mobile etiquette both with strangers and with my family. If my phone rings during meal time (breakfast, lunch, dinner,) the call goes to voice mail. If I get a text message or email during a meeting, or Mass, or when I am giving my girls undivided time (so in all of those cases, the ‘phone is on vibrate,) it’s going to wait. I will text and tweet while waiting in line, but the phone is put away when it is my turn to interact with another human being. I’m kind of spoiled in that The Swagger Wagon has Bluetooth integrated so you won’t see me sporting a handsfree device nor will you see me texting while driving!! (As an aside, I was listening to ‘Car Talk’ on NPR and Click and Clack said they saw a bumper sticker that read: Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet Him! I was rollin’ on that one.)

So that’s my take on mobile ‘phones. They are a fantastic invention and it’s funny to think that my kids will grow up only seeing corded ‘phones as play objects, but we mustn’t forget the real people that we are interacting with as well.
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What are some of your favorite mobile ‘phone faux pas? Oh, let me tell you this! I was so excited to find out that there is a new addition of Emily Post’s Etiquette coming out soon! Wheeeeee!! You know that could be an amazing gift for this CCM (hints to my family, LOL!)


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1 Comment

Filed under books, etiquette, manners, monday

One response to “Manners Monday: Mobile ‘Phones. Oy Weh.

  1. Wendy

    I’m pretty sure I’m the loud talker :(. I find myself almost deaf when out and getting a call. I think I need a new phone…

    The best advice I’ve gotten about phones, though, is from my hub: “you own the phone, it does not own you.”. Remembering that really helps me not answer when I shouldn’t.

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