If you know anyone exhibiting any of the following signs on a regular basis, a cell phone intervention may be necessary. I know these may seem like obvious ways to coexist with other humans in a civil fashion, but each day I come to the sad realization that these things are not obvious to everyone.
Please proceed with an open mind. Here we go:
1. Constantly checking your phone and texting while you are out with friends or at an event is as bad as checking your watch repeatedly or yawning. If your kids or babysitter REALLY need you, I doubt they are going to text. Otherwise you’re sending the message that you have better things to be doing with your time or that you’re as bored as a blind man in a strip club.
2. Enabling the loud clicking keyboard sound effects (or any keyboard sound effects) on your phone is the equivalent of clipping your toenails in public. No one needs to hear it. Besides, most of us can type these days, so there’s really no need to call special attention to it. (If this is confusing, check out the settings on your phone.)
3. Answering your phone in a restaurant. For God’s sake, excuse yourself from the table or use your inside voice until you can get outside. Or heaven forbid, let the call go to voice mail and call them back. If it’s urgent (and pause for a moment… and think about what is truly urgent), then they’re most likely going to call more than once. Unless you’ve let your party know that you’re expecting a really important call or it really is URGENT, it’s actually insulting.
4. This one is obvious and I mentioned it in another post a few days ago. If you can’t stop yourself from looking at your phone while you are driving, put it in the back seat or trunk, or better yet, keep some duct tape handy and tape it to your back until you arrive. It will make all of us — who are sharing the road with you –breathe a little easier.
5. Talking at full volume on your phone in a shared space where some might be trying to take a breather (coffee shop, hair salon, shops, EVEN BATHROOMS, PEOPLE). We realize that you are uber important and you’ve got to get that remodeling done before the big party. But seriously, we don’t need to hear every word of your conversation at full volume. Besides, it ruins the free head and neck massage that my stylist provides once every few months for me at the salon because I can’t stop thinking about flicking you on the forehead.
6. Your crazy ass loud ring tone. I know sometimes it’s hard to hear from a distance, but when you’re in a restaurant or shared quiet space, setting to vibrate is the polite thing to do. And if you forget – which happens to all of us sometimes – at least At least PRETEND like you are trying to answer it quickly.
7. Wearing your Bluetooth earpiece/earbud while you having an in-person conversation or at a restaurant. I don’t even think I need to explain this. No one is important enough for this to be necessary while you’re enjoying a meal or conversation with someone. Not only does it look ridiculous, but I’m pretty sure you’d be able to feel the phone vibrate if you are sitting in a booth. (And again, if it’s urgent, they’re probably going to give it a ring more than once.)
8. Repeated followup texts with question marks because you’re impatient and we haven’t responded to your text according to your expectations (which are completely subjective). Some of us don’t have our phones in hand at all times, thank God. And sometimes, people have a lot on their plate. If it’s important or you’re really concerned, pick up the phone and use your voice. Otherwise it’s the equivalent of repeatedly honking in traffic.
9. Re-sending the same generic texts often to lots of different people in succession. Sorry, but sometimes it’s way obvious that you are just killing time in a waiting room.
10. Sending texts to large groups of people who don’t know each other. Don’t be surprised if we don’t take the time to respond to these texts if we have no idea who else is on the group text. It doesn’t take that much longer to send the same text a couple of times. Besides, your husband’s aunt’s stepbrother’s niece doesn’t really want to know what 867-5309 thinks.
Thanks for taking the time to read. We all break these common courtesy guidelines once in a while, including myself. But I sigh just imagining how much more of a civil society we could have if we were all just a teeny bit more self aware.
Now, go make that urgent call.
PS: Who recognized that phone number in #10?
Oh, and Jenny, I’ve got your number.