Cell Phone Ettiquette

It goes without saying that the invention of cellular communication is one of the most significant advances in technology over the last 50 years. What started out as a cumbersome, brick-like device has been trimmed down to the size of a pocket calculator. And the functions a sophisticated cell phone can perform are almost space age. But there is a downside to all this technology because people don’t always evolve to keep pace with technology. 

You can’t walk into a grocery store, bank, drug store or restaurant without encountering someone talking on his or her cell phone at the most inconvenient and inappropriate times. How often have you stood behind some nitwit chatting away in a  grocery store check-out line while at the same time trying to pay for their bag full of groceries? Or how about the pea-brain driving 80 miles per hour on the freeway, cell phone pressed to their head with no respect for safety or the law? 

I could almost understand and tolerate the rudeness of this behavior if the “talker” was negotiating a two-million dollar real estate deal. But the conversations I’ve overheard were not of this nature; they were merely idle chit-chat.  Aside from an emergency or a consequential business deal, what could possibly be so important that one needs to talk on the cell phone while shopping or banking or dining in a restaurant? 

While sitting in a restaurant one day trying to enjoy lunch, I noticed four people in the booth across from me. All four were talking on their cell phones simultaneously as they awkwardly tried to stuff food in their faces. When you dine with friends or business associates, aren’t you supposed to talk to them? Whatever happened to common courtesy? 

In the scheme of things, I realize that my little cell phone rant may seem petty. But the same people who disregard cell phone etiquette are likely to be the same people who take up two parking spaces, or cut you off when you’re merging onto the freeway. Rudeness and lack of etiquette do not limit themselves to cell phones. If you don’t believe me, try to make a left hand turn out of a driveway during rush hour. But be sure you have plenty of bottled water and a burrito with you just in case. It might take awhile.

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