For many years, I was against getting a cell phone. Maybe I was just getting old, but more than that, I was just annoyed by how people were using them and I didn’t want to become one of them. So, after those many years, I got one and am happy to say that I haven’t lowered myself to play the game that so many other cell phone users play – texting while driving, yip yapping on the phone while driving, ignoring service people at checkouts as if they don’t exist while yip yapping on the phone, talking at the top of your lungs in public while on the phone, coming to a dead stop while walking to answer your phone, ignoring people you are with to take an unimportant phone call or to continue a texting session that you began hours ago with another person, texting and not looking where you are going and thus walking into an oncoming train or cement truck… wow that was a long sentence. I could go on and on and on.
That is the problem. What has happened to cell phone etiquette? It began kind of benignly, then quickly denigrated into a mass loss of decorum. Perhaps people who perform all of the above actions (and more) stand out more and thus deserve a more derisive roll of the eyes. Don’t people who drop everything including their attention to the people they are with and answer a call or text realize that what they are doing is literally slapping their company across the face when they ignore them? People who politely excuse themselves and leave the room to take a call are only slightly less irritating. If it’s not an emergency, why take the call or turn the call into a long, drawn-out conversation, leaving your companion(s) twiddling their thumbs? Other people who politely decline to answer the buzz of the device are my kind of people.
There is some kind of psychology behind people who use cell phones and how they use them. It’s fascinating really to think about why people do the things they do when operating a cell phone. Is it a prestige thing? Is it a self-important, lack of self-esteem issue? Is it because people just want attention and by showing off that they have a connection to someone, it makes them feel better about themselves? Whatever the issue is, it is behind the actions of the cell phone irritants.
At a grocery store recently, an older woman was pushing a shopping cart and at first I thought she was just leisurely pushing the cart. What she was actually doing was, yes, pushing her cart, but she wasn’t shopping or looking at the shelves. She was hunched over the cart texting on her cell phone which was resting on her purse in front of her. Didn’t look up. Seemingly didn’t care if she t-boned another cart or ran over a small runaway child in front of her. I just shook my head and rolled my eyes. What is the main purpose of coming into a grocery store – buying food? No, it’s to text back and forth to random people about random things and have random pointless conversations about nothing to either make themselves look important or to fill their boring days to escape from reality.
She was annoying, but the co-winners for biggest morons of the cell phone age are still those who drive while texting/talking and those who treat service people like garbage by talking on their cell phones while the service people are trying to serve them. This holier-than-thou, nose in the air attitude is completely offensive and if they can’t see how their addition to cell phones (and pointless conversations) and treatment of other human beings is off-kilter, then I have no faith left in the human race to make things right.
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