My Dad brought up a good point recently. He said, “When you go to a bar, what do you see? A drink and a cellphone in front of every person at the bar.” We’ve sat at various pubs since and noticed that he was right. And if a little LED blinks? Forget it. It’s like a gravitational pull that the phone owner cannot avoid. The world might deconstruct if the blinking light is not appeased.
“Must touch phone. Red light needs my fumbling hands. Please note, I’m no longer listening. The pull is too strong and I am too weak.”
Who cares that you’re in mid-conversation when someone has commented on the same Facebook post that you did, right? Clearly, this is much more important than the company that took the time to meet you and buy a $6 beer in this economy. If using your phone is a joint effort, this a different story; for example, showing a picture relating to the story you’re telling or that hilarious YouTube video you tried explaining, but totally butchered. This is acceptable.
Don’t be that friend who starts texting and zoning into that private data conversation, while totally neglecting the one in front of you. I’ve done this to my husband (ek!) but I’ve also been on the receiving end of this. I don’t care that you just met a cute girl at the gym; I’m telling you a funny story about my dog. Ok, this is not a good example. But can you at least say, “Do you mind if I check this real quick?” I’m ok if you tell me you’d rather do something else, but don’t just ignore me.
I won’t pretend I’m above these people because I do utilize my phone pretty frequently. I also realize that it’s pretty rude though and I’ve made an effort to try and keep it in my purse unless there is a major lull in conversation (which is probably still rude timing) or I’m expecting to hear from someone, and my company is aware of what I’m doing. Or I’m alone. Do you find yourself doing that? Maybe you’re early to meet a friend for coffee or you’re in a long line at the market. I find I get awkward in public when I feel like I have no one to talk to and so I end up checking my email five times or browsing something that really does not need immediate attention. I can’t just stand still. If someone appears to be ready to make friendly banter, I am all in but don’t make me stand in a crowd in silence without my Android. Twiddling my thumbs is just so boring without buttons to push.
Oh no. I’m one of “them”.
**Photo courtesy of mobilereachuse.com or a similar one can be taken at any local public facility near you.