Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cell Phone Etiquette

It started only a little over a decade ago but it has spread like wild fire, the Cell Phone. It used to be only for the Very Important People (a.k.a. VIP), but now every living and breathing individual owns one. From the homeless person sitting under the bridge talking on her cell phone to the 11 year old boy holding the shiny hand held devise while he is riding the yellow school bus, they all have one. It took us such a short amount of time to go from not having this luxury to becoming completely hooked on it, and that is the miracle of technology. The cell phone is a great invention, from being able to call for help in case of an emergency, to being able to find our passengers from the baggage claim curb of the airport, to giving each other a heads up on where the cop on the motorcycle is hiding to get the bad drivers. We often wonder about how we were ever able to find each other before? How did we ever manage to set up meetings, cancel appointments, find out what size our friends are while shopping for them at the mall or oh my god tell each other that we are going to be late? Could it be that we actually used our ever so capable brains and planned ahead? Damn, how hard we must have worked back in the stone ages (80's and early 90's)!
Yes, we have become lazy, spoiled and stupid with this invention. We continue to gradually lose the powers of our natural senses as well as our intelligence with the improvement of this devise. But what we have become most of all is Rude!
I am amazed at how the simple rules of common courtesy just fly out of the window when one has a cell phone in hand. There are some appalling acts related to the cell phone that are committed by people, which I find completely offensive. When people answer their cell phone and start a completely non-emergency conversation with the person on the other end, while they are spending time with you. Think about it, you are riding in a car, sitting in a coffee shop or at home or shopping at the store with a friend who you have decided to spend your precious time with. Yet they not only answer their cell phone but have the audacity to just chit chat and shoot the breeze with the person on the other end, while you wait for them to get off. What the hell? Are they that blind to not notice that that is completely rude? Some times they say "oh it's my sister" or "oh it's my boyfriend" like that makes it OK. Is your sister on her way to the hospital and needs you to go turn off the oven in her kitchen? Is your boyfriend experiencing a drug overdose? If the answers to these questions are "no" then hang the damn phone up and have some respect for my damn time! Also, if you are the person who is calling, when you realize that the intended receiver is with another person or in the middle of a transaction, do not just say "so what els is new", hang up the damn phone and let them call you back at a more appropriate time!
How about when people go up to the register to pay for an item in the store and they are talking on their cell phone? This way they are blatantly telling the clerk "Not only you are not important to me at all, I do not give a shit about what you say. My conversation with my buddy about my baby's diaper size is so urgent right now that I am willing to treat you like crap". Hang the damn phone up for freaking 5 minutes and treat the other person like a damn human being!
And what is up with people's volumes going up 7 notches when they are on their cell phones? OK, maybe not every one minds people on their cell phones every where like I do, but I am sure you all become extremely annoyed when they are loud. I do not want to hear about your freaking drunken night or the way you celebrated your stupid child's birthday or what color your new curtains are when I am shopping. Either shut the hell up or bring down your volume or hang up the damn phone and save your annoying conversation for when you are in your damn house!
And do not even get me started on people talking on their cell phones while driving (oh I'm starting). For god's sake how stupid can you be? Read my lips people: You cannot talk on the phone and drive like a human being at the same time. It is so common now that I can easily tell when people are talking on their cell phones while driving, even if I do not see their ugly faces. The freaking car is going all over the place while driving below the speed limit. And I bet that the conversation is far from any thing urgent, emergency or a crisis. I bet that they are talking about how they are on their way to see their stupid child's teacher to discuss his retarded drawing, or how they are so bummed out because the guy from the club has not called yet. Hang up the damn phone and drive you stupid bitch!
I understand that the cell phone has taken over our lives, people are addicted to it and cannot live with out it. But please people have some freaking courtesy! I understand that setting some time aside at home to make a nice phone call to your mother or friend does not happen any more. These days people run around and chit chat their stupid chatter on the road, in the grocery store and at the hair salon like headless chickens. At least keep it to your damn selves and understand that even though you may be the center of your own universe you are not other people's. I also understand that 2008 is not the age of etiquette and class, but the last time I checked having respect for your fellow human beings was still expected.
When you are interacting with some one, even if they are the coffee shop cashier, give them your attention and do not order your damn latte between your stupid cell phone conversations. When you are spending time with a friend, a neighbor or your brother give them your time and full attention and save your meaningless cell phone conversations for another time.
The rise of technology and the growth of our conveniences are great, believe me I am a fan myself, however I think that each one of these new gadgets should come with an etiquette guide to remind us about common courtesy. Lets not forget about respect and other human beings who still exist in the world around us, Please!


Anahita said...

This reminds me of couple of incidences in Iran…Anytime we went to a play, concert, movies, you name it, somebody’s phone was going off. Not once, not twice…It came to a point that I wanted to go to his/her seat and break the “damn” phone with my own hands.

By the way can I include this blog as part of my syllabus? I’ll acknowledge the author, of course.

Anahita said...

Hummm...Is there anyway you can add a paragraph for when it goes off in the middle of a lecture?

Jasmine said...

um wow, you are so harsh!!!! I totally understand where you're coming from though.

one time, i was in the middle of a chiropractic session and the Chiropractor answered his phone and started talking to his friend about some party they were planning. that pissed me off enough to change doctors!

sanaz said...

I admit I haven't been so good myself, but no excuses..
btw, might want to check this out wouldn't want to even get close to a cellphone after watching this...

Anahita said...

Somebody should be happy about the new law that'll take effect on July 1st!!!

me said...

my my my...sensitive subject..but i agree for the most part. guilty as charged on a couple of items...talking in my car or when checking out groceries... BUT i try to be as safe by using hands free and always putting the person on hold when it gets to my turn. no excuses...regarldess, i agree....if everyone took a minute and tried to have more respect for others in general, it would be a much nicer world to live in.

you did forgot one very important item which gets on my nerves more than anything....TEXTING while at dinner or coffee with friends. again, i get it if it's urgent but what is up with having a text coversation with someone while spending time with you?!?!? now, i call that RUDE as well!