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Cell Phone Rudeness - WWYD?


Replies to: Cell Phone Rudeness - WWYD?

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,440 Senior Member
    "Do you think your reaction to your friend's cell phone use would be about the same if she took out a small book and started to read it? It seems similar to me, but somehow not quite as bad. In any case, I think somehow cellphones have a different character than other types of distractions."

    Not for me they don't. I hate how everyone is on their phones constantly. We survived without them for all but the last 10-20 years of history so why is it currently a "necessity" to check one's phone constantly. We're not that important. If you need to do so at a dinner for example, excuse yourself and go do so privately. It's a real pet peeve of mine (obviously :) )and it frustrates me that its become so commonplace, that there seems to be so little stigma attached to it.
  • collage1collage1 Registered User Posts: 1,738 Senior Member
    I would have been very uncomfortable and I certainly would not include her in events where she might exhibit the same behavior -- I do understand she wasn't 'invited' to this one; she just heard you and your mom were attending and bought her own ticket.

    In all likelihood, particularly because she is the generation above me, I'm sure I would have let it go. Alternatively, if I had had the nerve (very doubtful), I would have said, as gently as I knew how, to say something like, 'this is awkward for me to broach but I'd like to share with you that I felt uncomfortable when you were on your phone during the iman's talk, particularly because I'm sure he could see you and it felt disrespectful.'. As I say, I'm not even sure if I'd feel comfortable saying this to a friend my own age...really, people have the right to do what they want. I guess I'd wonder if she realized how disrespectful she was being and, if she's normally a person I wouldn't think of as disrespectful, I'd wonder if she'd actually appreciate the feedback.

    Sorry you were in this position.
  • nottellingnottelling Registered User Posts: 4,329 Senior Member
    But reading a book? I was at a dinner party 30 years ago and someone started reading a book at the table. It was so breathtakingly rude I still can picture the person, where they were sitting at the table, what they were wearing. It is certainly much less common!
  • nottellingnottelling Registered User Posts: 4,329 Senior Member
    Maybe your mom's friend was live tweeting the event! ;)
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    I interpreted dadx's post 13 as saying that the book seemed similar, but not as bad / rude as the cellphone. Is that how everyone else interpreted it?
  • youceeyoucee Registered User Posts: 1,310 Senior Member
    Maybe she was reading a book on the phone. Or maybe she was checking baseball scores which I would have been peeking over her shoulder to see so that I wouldn't appear to be rude by using my phone.
  • 1or2Musicians1or2Musicians Registered User Posts: 1,365 Senior Member
    I think a book is ruder. At least with a phone there could be a legit reason to look at it initially. But pulling out a book is clearly just choosing to disengage.

    As far as age, my antecdotal observation is that middle aged women text and drive more frequently than young people. So I don't think phone rudeness would be limited to young people either.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    I was 3 seats away and I could see it was Facebook and texting. We had arrived early (hence why we were in such good seats) and had sat there for a good half hour before the program started.
  • STEM2017STEM2017 Registered User Posts: 4,111 Senior Member
    I once made the HUGE mistake of politely asking someone to turn off their very distracting phone during a speaker event (bright screen, dark auditorium). Judging by her reaction, you would think I poured scalding water over her head. It was very embarrassing for all of us. Unfortunately for me, I'll never do it again.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    That's interesting that you say that, because I wouldn't really care if someone had a cell phone on during a movie (provided they kept it down low and the light didn't distract). Because movies don't have feelings. I don't know, perhaps this is just me, but I just kept thinking - how much this man's feelings would be hurt if he were seeing this obvious disengagement from his speech. I'm not usually high on the empath scale but that does bother me.
  • STEM2017STEM2017 Registered User Posts: 4,111 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    ^Maybe you misunderstood. I was at a speaker event. The woman next to me was using her bright phone in the darkened auditorium. Very distracting to me, to everyone around us, and probably to the speaker on stage as well.

    EDIT: After reading my original post, I was not clear. Apologies.
  • FlyMeToTheMoonFlyMeToTheMoon Registered User Posts: 2,932 Senior Member
    As long as she didn't have her keyboard sounds on so everyone can hear her typing, I wouldn't think anything of it. My attitude is you can't control other people's behavior. You can only control yours. I would never consider motioning to a friend of mine to put her phone away. My daughters yes, but not a friend.
  • jrcsmomjrcsmom Registered User Posts: 950 Member
    Just earlier this month, I was visiting son and we went to a movie.

    Not long into the movie, right in the middle of the theater, someone turned on their phone and in a dark movie theater, that is immediately distracting to everyone in the room.

    If you ever believe you are being secretive doing something like that...you're not.

    In a dark environment, your brain is immediately going to react to something like that, which is a distraction from the movie. That's why they have the childish advertisements before hand telling people to turn off their phones.

    I was seconds away from going to get an usher and requesting the person be told to turn off the phone or leave the theater, when they turned it off on their own.

    I hope whoever was sitting with them, kicked them...HARD.
  • nottellingnottelling Registered User Posts: 4,329 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    I do think the social norms re cell phones at the table are changing. I don't like it, but it does seem to be the case. Part of the reason is that there are so many things to do on a cell phone that are acceptable -- like taking notes.

    For example, I'm in a little wine club with a group of friends who meet for dinner once a month and share really good wines. The other people in the group are REALLY into wine and they all keep these elaborate journals with tasting notes. They used to keep them in written form, but now they all do it on their phones. It does drive me NUTS that they are typing into their phones during dinner or consulting their phone journals for the last time we had a similar wine or whatever, but it seems completely socially acceptable to all of the other members of the group (except me). These are perfectly polite people in most contexts.

    I made the joke above about live tweeting, but we are moving into an age where everyone is a "journalist" and sharing contemporaneous thoughts abt activities with the rest of the world is becoming more and more common. We might not like it, but our kids' generation may decide it is a sign of respect to contemporaneously document an event on Instagram or Facebook as it is occuring.

    (Luckily, I'm participating in a Webinar remotely at my desk right now so the presenters who are droning on about nothing can't tell I'm on my phone.)
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    Wow, I think this was incredibly rude behavior. It just shows that people of any age can be jerks with cellphones. I think I might have reached over, pat her on the leg, and made a motion for her to put the phone away. Coming from you, it would have been shocking enough to possibly work.

    Even though I believe it's rude to correct other adults' manners, if their rudeness is affecting my enjoyment and giving offense to others, I don't hesitate to point it out. I once shushed a woman at Symphony Hall, and it worked. I really don't care what she thought, because I was setting boundaries and enforcing a societal standard.
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