It’s time for one of my favorite holidays (I use that term loosely) – National Etiquette Week. Like Christmas and my birthday, it only comes once a year and gives me great amount of joy. Because nothing gives me more pleasure than feeling slightly superior and scolding others on their manners with the disclaimer, “Hey, its National Etiquette Week.” And, besides talking with food in your mouth (I’m here for a conversation, not a visual depiction of the maceration of your entrée with your saliva), there are few faux pas that irk me more than mobile missteps.
Here are my Top 3 Mobile Etiquette blunders in no particular order:
Not excusing yourself to take a phone call in a group setting
Oh hey, hey Mr(s). Important, I was unaware that you were expecting an urgent phone call from the President you just had to take in the car / at the table / in the middle of the party. Please let us all be quiet so you can conduct this important matter of national security. What’s that you say? It’s your Mom / dogwalker / psychic? You officially just became the most annoying person in the room (thanks for uniting the rest of the group though). Please take the call from Mrs. Cleo elsewhere.
Forgetting how to walk because you’re entranced with your email / text / phone call
I get it – I like to listen to music and glance at emails on my walk to work too. Incredibly, I’ve figured out how to change the song and continue to walk at the same pace (this actually is incredible because I’m possibly the least coordinated person on the planet. I rolled my ankle standing still the other day – and it wasn’t the first time). If I need to reply to an email or do a YouTube search for my favorite NKOTB jam (don’t judge – boy bands are back en vogue) I walk over to the side of the street where I won’t be in the way. I don’t slow down to snail’s pace or stop in the middle of the sidewalk with my headphones in looking like a confused jackhole. (Editor’s note: Or, even worse, be this guy.) People are walking behind you! Triple rude points if you do this while smoking a cigarette that everyone in a 10-foot radius has to inhale. On a serious note for pedestrians in big cities, paying more attention to your phone instead of what’s going on around you is a good way to get hit by a car or rogue bicyclist.
Crossing boundaries when borrowing someone else’s cell phone
I’m more than happy to give you my phone to make a call, look something up, etc. But I am not more than happy to see you scrolling through my text messages or peeking at my photos. You know who likes it even less? Your significant other. Passwords were invented for creepers like you. The only exception to this goes to my old college roommate, who before class would take my cell phone, turn it off silent and set the ringtone to Jingle Bells … in May … and then call me 30 minutes into a biochem lecture.
What are you biggest pet peeves when it comes to mobile?
A little bit about me: Old enough to remember actual car phones, I’ve been at the cutting edge of mobile since I had the Nokia 3650 before Paris Hilton did. I’m interested in the sociological impact of mobile on our lives and the technology driving the next generation of devices. While my iPhone has gotten me out of some sticky situations, it still can’t hug me back.