Sunday, August 15, 2010

Phed Up With Phones!

I love having a cell phone. I really do. I like that I can get a hold of my kids when I need to, or track my parents down when I am worried about them. I like that I can send a quick text message to someone, and get a quick message back. They are convenient and make me feel safe.

BUT . . . I wish there were some established rules regarding cell phone use in public—and in particular when you are out with other couples.

Here are a few true stories from my life recently.

1. We have two couples at our house for dinner. While everyone is sitting in the family room visiting, one of the women receives a text from her child. For the next twenty minutes she texts her child and talks to the lady next to her about the texts she is receiving. The rest of us try to carry on a conversation without them, but it is very distracting since we are all sitting in the same room.

2. We are out to dinner and a movie with another couple. We pick them up and all the way to the restaurant the man talks on the phone. He puts the phone away for dinner (thankfully) but resumes his talking as soon as we get back in to the car. He also talks on his phone all the way home.

3. We are with two other couples driving to Mesa (1 hour drive). All the way there and back the two men are playing games on their phones.

I could go on . . . and on and on.

None of these people are casual acquaintances. They are all very good friends. (Or at least were until they read this . :-) But seriously, it drives me crazy. My personal opinion is that it is very rude and it is all I can do to keep myself from screaming, “Good grief!! Put away your phone!!”

But, then I feel I would be being rude as well. So, what do I do?

What is acceptable behavior and what isn’t?
And how do you deal with people who spend their time talking/texting others or playing games on their phones while you are together?
Advice is appreciated.


justmeagain said...

I can totally relate!! We were out with friends and the man was texting the entire time!! Finally I asked him to put the phone away and he got very defensive. I don't know if he didn't think he was doing anything wrong or if he didn't like being told he was wrong. Anyway, we haven't done much with them since. What is the point? I go out with friends because I want to spend time with them, not watch them spend time with other people.

It is easier with my kids. We have a rule that no one talks on their phone while in the car, during dinner or family night. Unfortunately it is easier to boss your kids around than it is the neighbors.

Good luck! Wish I had better advice for you!

Cherie said...

I agree. I love my phone but I really do leave it at home when I go to the movies or dinner or whatever.
I think people have forgotten social graces, and common courtesy in this high tech - info. RIGHT NOW society!!
I have had similar situations as you have described happen.
A couple years ago I went to lunch with one of my best friends. We never could talk at all because the whole time her daughter (age 24) was calling her with some drama about a roommate. This situation was not urgent and totally could have waited. It pretty much ruined lunch and she didn't even realize it.
I did mention it to her and when we have gone out to lunch since then I just say something like "I'm turning my cell phone off until lunch is over so we can talk". She got the hint.
With my kids I just pull the mom card and say "Put that thing away!". Ha Ha

Cherie said...

P.S. Great post because I think this is a huge "social" problem.

MissKris said...

Next time a couple pulls out their phones and start chatting with other people make the verbal announcement of, "Oh- is it phone time," and then talk your way through the process of wondering who to chat with and so on and then see what happens.
haha good luck.

Momza said...

I agree with you and Cherie...I don't have a strong relationship with my cellphone. I don't text. I think it's rude when you're with someone and they spend half their time with you, on the phone with someone else.
Unless it's important, it can wait.
We have the "No Phone At the Table" rule too.
I don't know what you can do to make people more courteous...smack 'em and take their phone??

Emma T said...

Here is my true phone story. I was giving a talk in church and someone's phone rang--and he answered it!! He did get up and leave but he was talking out loud while he did it!! Can you believe that?! I was so shocked I forgot where I was in my talk and got all flustered.

There is something about cell phones that make people forget common courtesies. Why is it that the person on the other end of the phone is so much more important than the people you are with? I think very few people are so important--either the caller or the person receiving the call--that the phone can't be turned off for a few hours.

Rebecca Irvine said...

I do not have a close tie my cell either. It drives me crazy when people are on it all the time. I even have someone in my Primary presidency who will answer texts during our meeting. I have not known what to say--I wish I had known ahead of time so I could have said please turn them off so we can meet uninterrupted.

Sue said...

I think it's rude to speak on a cell phone when you are with others unless it's quite important. The only time I do it is when my children really need me.


The Crazy Coxes said...

Guilty! And fed up! I've ben on both sides. I don't have any answers for you...not that you needed any. I try to be considerate. It IS crazy though how we HAVE to be accessible every second of the day!

Stef said...

That is so frustrating! Seriously...are we here to be together or just sit near one another. I do video interpreting for the deaf and I can't tell you how many times I am interpreting a call for these people and they won't even look up to participate in a call they initiated. It is infruriating!!
But they are convenient, I would agree with you there.

Connie said...

I just discovered your blog and realize we have a lot in common. I lived in Gilbert for 4 years, have grandbabies, belong to the same church and have a love/hate relationship with the cell phone.
My son got married on Friday. The bride's Dad, who was sitting at the head table during the luncheon, texted and called throughout the whole hour and a half we were together. Very annoying!