Because nobody wants to hear your stupid conversation about the funny birthday cards you just found and feel compelled to share with your BFF! If you are so self-centered and desire to be the topic of conversation, guess what, you are. At my family dinner table, we have had conversations around how stupid you look and sound and our predictions on when you might be appearing on the “Jerry Springer” show (not that we would watch).
Ignore The Law And Forget Your Manners
Cell phones have resulted in disregard for the law as well as a decline in manners. For example, at a recent traffic signal, I watched cars turn past into a shopping mall. I began to notice how many people had their hand glued to their ear talking on a cell phone. I would guess it was well over 2/3 of the drivers were chatting away. Interestingly, it was in an area where the law requires the use of a hands-free device when using a cell phone and driving. There is no debate that cell phones lead to distracted driving. Don’t believe me? Try Googling “cell phone video driving accidents.” Here you will see a variety of footage, often captured via traffic cameras clearly demonstrating how your need to constantly stay connected results in injury and death.
With regard to the impact cell phones are having on our manners, here are a few examples of people lacking social awareness. While filling up my car with gas, I watched a person pull in to a pump, get out of their car, pump gas, go into pay and make a purchase, come out, and get back in their car, all the while carrying on a conversation via their cell phone. I have stood behind people in line at stores, who pay for their purchases while carrying on a conversation and not even having the courtesy to acknowledge the cashier as a human being. At airports, I have been amazed at the number of men who use the public restroom, relieving themselves, all the while carrying on a conversation via their cell phone. If I can hear you going to the bathroom, so too can the folks on the other end of the phone. When I am on the other end of the phone and I determine you are engaged in these types of behaviors, expect to be hung up on.
There has been a great deal of debate about cell phones and airplanes. It is my hope that the use of cell phones during flight NEVER gets approved. I don’t care if it is demonstrated that they don’t interfere with the plane’s navigation system. Why? I don’t want to sit on a 30 minute, let alone 4 hour flight listening to others’ conversations. I would expect instances of air rage to increase dramatically should the use of cell phones ever be allowed during flight. If they do, airlines better distribute noise cancelling headphones to every passenger as a means of maintaining order and keeping people from going insane.
Rob’s Rules Of Cell Phone Etiquette
Wanting to prevent you from losing your life, causing the death of another, or just to keep you from looking and sounding stupid, here are my 10 rules of cell phone usage.
1. Use a hands-free device when making a call in your car.
2. If you are on the phone and driving, when you arrive at your destination, tell the person you will call them back. Don’t walk and talk. You look stupid.
3. If you have to make a call in a store, keep it short and to the point. You don’t like it when the cashier has to stop waiting on you to answer the phone, so show them the same courtesy.
4. If you have to make a private call in a public place, find a private corner or go outside and use a soft voice.
5. If your cell phone rings while dining out with a guest, ask the person if they mind if you take the call or politely excuse yourself — as in get up and leave the table to answer the call.
6. Hang up before using the bathroom. Really, what more needs to be said on this topic.
7. Don’t text while driving. If you insist that you can do this safely, do me a favor, try operating a chain saw while texting. Let me know how that works out.
8. When riding as a passenger in a car, keep your cell phone conversations short and to the point. Not doing so is inconsiderate and disrespectful to others.
9. I didn’t come to the movie, concert, play, show, etc. to hear your conversation. If the call is that important ask yourself — why are you at the event in the first place? Don’t answer the call. Leave and call them back.
10. Put your phone on silent or vibrate before entering meetings, shows, and the like. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the person at the front of the room, giving a performance and hearing a phone ringing. It is distracting, inconsiderate, and you should be embarrassed.