Playing on Your Phone When You Have Company

There is nothing quite like a bunch of friends enjoying one another’s company on a hot, sunny summer Saturday. Together, they rode off into the sunset together and found themselves a swimming hole. Perhaps the only thing that could ruin this blissful activity is the fact that they didn’t get far enough from their available wireless or cell phone connection to actually be forced to enjoy the friends they are with.

And sadly, even had they chosen to host a barbecue at home, chances are pretty high that at least 70% of the time spent together would be spent perusing Facebook or texting friends. We now live in a world where it is seemingly acceptable to be only half-present for the people actually present in our lives. The rest of the time adults and teens alike seem to be constantly interacting with the world outside through their technological devices. Perhaps we need a lesson in Rudeness 101, with the first lesson being that playing on your phone when you have company is just plain RUDE. And obnoxious. And did we mention, rude?

Considering that the younger generation of teens feels completely lost without their cell phones, chances are that a visit from Grandma and Grandpa – who they haven’t seen in almost a year, will still not be enough to force them to put down their phones when they have company. As the soup is being served little Johnny Jr, will likely be holding his phone on his lap and liking Facebook statuses, or at the very least waiting for the damn thing to vibrate so he can socialize with friends.

It’s one thing to be sitting at a subway station or in a restaurant by yourself, on a bus, or even on a park bench completely alone distracting yourself with a phone or device. But it is altogether different to be doing this when you have company or are with company. Unfortunately, very few people seem to ‘get’ this. The next time you go to a shopping mall, or movie theatre or restaurant try to be aware of just how many people have their noses and faces stuck down in the phone. While mom’s toddler is throwing mashed potatoes at a fellow restaurant goer, she is giggling about a funny E-card she read on Facebook.

Teenagers, who are the ultimate social butterflies don’t even escape their connection to the outside world when they are hosting a sleepover or have friends over for a party. (And neither do most adults) In fact, the cell phone is becoming the welcomed party crasher and enables people to escape the reality of their situation with the simple press of a button.

So you get the point. Too many people are using their cell phone too much of the time in too many places. Chances are that there will probably come a day when cell phones become banned from certain venues for the simple fact that they are a distraction. But in case you didn’t get the memo, or aren’t quite sure when it is and isn’t appropriate to use a cell phone, we at Professors House are compiling you a list!

Rudeness 101! When NOT to Use Your Cell phone

  • First and foremost, when YOU have company. Or when you are company in someone else’s home. If something CANNOT wait, then excuse yourself for a few minutes and handle the call or text and then get back to the business of socializing.
  • In movie theatres. Or concerts. Or anywhere where it is polite to keep quiet, and YES this means in a doctors office waiting area as well. No one wants to be forced to listen to YOUR conversation or the constant beeps and taps of you typing on your phone. (And it’s rude)
  • When you are checking out at a register, or standing in line. Pay attention a$$hole to what is going on around you because there is nothing ruder than holding up perfect strangers while you answer a call or try to figure out how to text on your smart phone.
  • At traffic lights or in the car in general. Listen, no matter how amazing you think you are – texting in vehicles is illegal for a reason. Why? Because doing so endangers everyone around you!
  • During school or lectures. If you are supposed to be listening to a teacher or lecturer or are attending a meeting, zoning out on the cell phone is just plain rude! The reasons schools have been forced to implement rules about cell phone use is because so many idiots cannot see why it’s rude to use them in class.
  • When you are having a REAL conversation with someone else. The rudest thing in the world is to say ‘hang on a minute,’ to a friend, coworker, family member, or stranger in the middle of a conversation so that you can return a text, comment on a FB status or answer a call. Real people should take precedence, unless of course you are awaiting news of a loved ones death.
  • When you should be paying attention to YOUR child. It is not another parent’s responsibility to make sure your child is safe at the playground, or pool, or park because you are using this excursion as an excuse to stay invested in your social media. If your kid needs supervision, you might as well turn OFF the cell phone.
  • At the dinner table. Parents should keep the dinner table a tranquil, family meeting place and should enforce the no cell phones at the dinner table rule. My goodness the conversations family might actually have with one another. Since the beginning of time, the family dinner table is supposed to be a time of connection and togetherness.
  • In church. Don’t worry, God isn’t going to be calling or texting you during your Sunday service – so you won’t be missing anything important.

Where ELSE do you think it’s rude to use cell phones? Do you have rules in your home about using cell phones with company over?



One Response

  1. I had an argument recently with a close friend who never puts his phone away when we are in company. He’s either texting, taking calls or looking at other people’s lives on facebook. When I drew his attention to it, he was massively offended and told me that only a partner would tell him to get off his phone, but he would refuse to do it for a friend. I find his obsession with texting, especially if he’s seeing someone, incredibly obsessive. I tried to raise it gently and considerately, but was told it was an off limits conversation and that I’m wrong. I’m actually really hurt.

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