Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Miss Manners on Cell Phones

I don't know if the real Miss Manners has written anything on cell phone etiquette, but it's high time. I have talked with more than a handful of people in the last few weeks about how much they HATE the bad manners of overly zealous cell phone users.

Now that cell phones are doing text messaging (SMS) and email and everything else, the rudeness displayed by people who are addicted to their phones has reached a whole new level.

In fact, recently in the dating arena, to meet a nice guy who actually doesn't have a cell phone has made my heart skip a happy beat.

I've been on dates where guys were more than willing to be interrupted by a call on their cell phone and then carry on for more than 10 minutes chatting to someone else, while seated across from me at dinner! Unbelieveably rude. I always suggest they order the soup so I can drop their phone in it ... accidently. Whoops!

Add text messaging to the social scene and the guy who used to look around the room for another pretty girl, now is constantly glancing down at his phone screen to see if some other babe has sexy texted him or is giving him a better offer for later in the evening. Even if that's NOT what's going on, it can sure seem that way and that precious commodity, TRUE UNDIVIDED ATTENTION, is now long gone from the social intercourse you're performing with a phone junky.

The old bad manners of people walking along the street in a crowd, on a full train or in a hushed high-end restaurant yelling boring or embarrassing things into their cell phone for all the world to hear, continues apace. There seems to be no way to remedy that. Like too hot couples making out on the street, forcing you to yell the vulgar "Get A Room!" suggestion, we wish there were a "Get A Phone Booth" equivalent, but in a few short years, just like my kid laughs when I say "record" instead of CD, no one will know what a phone booth is.

All that said, I do have a cell phone and I'm probably guilty of some of these very behaviors, but I'm certainly chastened more and more as I watch so many people behaving badly with their communications devices. Beam them aboard, Scotty, just get rid of them.