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Cell Phone Rudeness - WWYD?

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Replies to: Cell Phone Rudeness - WWYD?

  • frazzled1frazzled1 Registered User Posts: 5,784 Senior Member
    I work at a senior center, one of the few places where I don't see people melded to their cell phones at all times. Woman B in the OP is not only rude, she's more adept at cell phone usage than the older folks I know. The average age of our membership is 79; all are independent seniors, and the great majority carry cell phones. We periodically have cell phone workshops to help them with stuff like setting up contact info, text messaging, saving photos, etc.

    Maybe we live in the last polite bubble in the universe, but our folks don't even place their cell phones on the table at lunch so as not to miss a call, let alone surf the net instead of conversing with others or listening to speakers. The staff has just begun to realize that we should ask attendees to turn off cell phone ringers during programs, since younger seniors might be more of the mindset that cell phones trump all else.

    I think peer pressure has tamped down in-your-face cell phone use here so far, but the peers are changing.

  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    All of these women in this age group whom I wind up spending time with are fully cell phone / iPad / computer adept! They wouldn't think twice about downloading a new app, banking online, texting a friend, using OpenTable to book a lunch, etc. And it's not even necessarily about 'staying in touch with the grandkids' - I think it's just the new norm. But I'm talking a bit younger -- women in early / mid 70's.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,451 Senior Member
    "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."

    Another pet peeve but that's a whole other discussion. :D
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    I make it a personal rule for myself to put my cellphone on vibrate/turn it off right before attending such an event, date, or any situation where I'm expecting to fully engage with people IRL.

    Not only is using cell phones, reading books, etc in such situations rude, it can also prevent one from fully taking in the event...including observing peoples' facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, funny events, etc.

    Never understood the need to pull up one's cell/computer/book during a social event even if one's bored...that's all stuff I can easily do at home or elsewhere.
    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.

    I differ slightly in this respect in two situations:

    1. If the rudeness/inattention will jeopardize the friend's relationships with mutual friends/family or employers. For instance, I had to nudge a much older friend awake at his boss' event in which he extended the invitation to yours truly. Wouldn't have wanted the boss to have an excuse to give him a hard time later on or even to terminate his employment for such reasons.

    2. If the rudeness/inattention will cause negative social fallout for my relationship with the hosts because they understandably will take umbrage at seeing someone disengage socially by using a cellphone, reading a book. playing on computer on occasions when he/she should be trying to engage with RL human beings. Although I grew up in the early stages of the internet/smartphone revolution.....I'm still of the mind that if one's with other people IRL...they get first priority for his/her engagement/interaction/attention....NOT the cellphone/electronics/books.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,760 Senior Member
    Not sure what to say about your reaction. But here's mine.
    You aren't responsible for her actions. You aren't her mother. Doesn't sound like she disturbed others (except you).
    The speaker is a big boy. He'll get over it.
    I wouldn't have said anything except to engage in a conversation afterwards as to how much the participants got out of the experience and to discuss their reactions.
  • eyemamomeyemamom Registered User Posts: 5,418 Senior Member
    We were just at a political function, that we paid to attend and had a table. During the keynote that was just a few feet from us a friend sat there texting or emailing. I didn't say anything, but I do think people are addicted now to their phones.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,187 Senior Member
    I think it was inconsiderate

    And I would not ever invite her again to something like this.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,913 Forum Champion
    <<< woman B pulled out her cell phone and started silently playing on it - checking FB, texting and the like

    it had been my kid, I would have given him the Eye of Death and told him to cut it out. Heck, I would have given my mother the Eye of Death if she'd pulled out her phone
    .>>>


    You'd be surprised how many people have been raised without experiencing That Look that good parents give when they or siblings misbehaved.

  • nottellingnottelling Registered User Posts: 4,329 Senior Member
    @Pizzagirl --Did you say anything to her after the event was over? If so, how did she react?

    Did they have a "turn off your cell phone announcement" at the beginning of the event? Most people are pretty good about actually powering down their phones when prompted with that reminder. If she left hers on despite the announcement, she's probably beyond shaming.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    I didn't say anything to her afterwards. No, they didn't have a turn-off-your-cell-phone announcement.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,905 Senior Member
    "Doesn't sound like she disturbed others (except you). The speaker is a big boy. He'll get over it."

    That's my thought. If she's not making noise or distracting others, she can decide what to do. You don't have to invite her in the future, of course.

    I do a lot of public speaking. It's MY job to hold the audience's attention. If a lot of cell phones come out, then I'm doing something wrong. But if one or two people tune out, so be it. In any line of work where you give speeches, you can't take that kind of thing personally.
  • sorghumsorghum Registered User Posts: 3,602 Senior Member
    Not your circus, not your monkey.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 23,011 Senior Member
    I am at a high tech conference this week. We went from one session to another. I did notice that when the speaker was not interesting then people just started pulling out their smart phone. It was very noticeable and was rude.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    I do a lot of public speaking. It's MY job to hold the audience's attention. If a lot of cell phones come out, then I'm doing something wrong. But if one or two people tune out, so be it. In any line of work where you give speeches, you can't take that kind of thing personally.

    While I agree the speaker's job is to hold the audience's attention, I am also of the view that the audience if polite and decently brought up should do their utmost to make a visible effort to be as attentive as they can be. Looking up one's cell phone, playing with electronics or reading a book goes well beyond merely being inattentive....it's an active effort to completely disengage with the speaker. THAT'S what makes those acts rude.

    Incidentally, while I nudged my older friend in time before his boss had a chance to notice him nodding off, I later heard a few of his colleagues weren't lucky and ended up being on that boss' s&*tlist for a while....including a few who ended up eventually being canned by him for some infraction...whether substantive or perceived.
This discussion has been closed.