I love my smartphone as much as anybody.
I like being in touch with the people I care about when they need to reach me.
I also love being able to check in with friends/email/social media when I’m bored.
(While waiting at a doctor’s office, or waiting at an airport, or waiting for anything.)
My iPhone is with me always, unless I’m in the shower or swimming.
Yes … always.
[Although, I might silence it for special (!!) occasions.]
And OK, I admit – as much as I love my phone, it does stress me out sometimes to see the emails piling up on it.
But people …?
Yes … YOU!
You’ve become damn rude.
Our whole society is getting to be self-absorbed, inconsiderate, and just plain bad-mannered.
It might have began when talking went out of style, in favor of texting.
As a shy introvert,
I admit, I really appreciate and love the convenience of texting.
Recently, I took this photo:
Photo: We’re absorbed in our phones instead of having conversations with the people we’re actually with.
Taking the above photo really made an impact on me.
I keep coming back to it, staring at it, thinking about it, time and time again.
It made me start thinking about how smartphones have changed our lives, our relationships, our society.
Anyone who drives in Southern California knows there’s a big problem here with texting/emailing/smartphoning while driving.
It’s a HUGE problem.
We have seriously bad traffic here. (It’s much worse in L.A., but The OC and San Diego have a lot of traffic too.)
People multi-task on their phones so their drive-time isn’t “wasted time.”
People swerve in and out of lanes because they’re distracted.
People only give driving a small fraction of their attention.
People get injured and sometimes die as a result of smartphone distraction.
I know you think you can multi-task flawlessly while driving, but guess what?
You’re the one who almost hit me today and you didn’t even know it because you were looking at your phone.
OK, so now you’re thinking, “Nope, it wasn’t me. I never even glance at my phone while I’m in the car!”
First of all,
I call bullshit,
Particularly if you live in Southern California.
Second, let’s pretend you’ve never once glanced at your phone while driving ….
I think we, as a society, have an even bigger problem.
Do you text, or check email, or “glance” at Facebook (or Instagram, or Twitter, or Pinterest or anything else on your phone) when you’re with people?
And by with people, I mean in the company of other human beings you’re spending time with.
Yes, you do!
How rude are you?
Well, the more often you look at the phone while in the company of Real Living People, the ruder you are.
It’s as simple as that.
(And no, I’m not claiming to be remotely perfect in this regard – but it IS something I really try to be conscious of and considerate about.)
When your phone gets your attention over the Real Living Person your with, you’re sending a strong signal to the Real Living Person.
The signal you’re sending is, “I’m inconsiderate, bad mannered, and rude.”
Yes, it’s true.
Don’t even get me started on people who talk on their phones (loudly) while in restaurants.
(And the reason why you can’t excuse yourself and walk outside for that Very Important Phone Call is …??)
Or people who sloooowww down to text while walking in a crowd –
Maybe even stopping completely, blocking the path of those behind them.
(Why do people always seem to do this right in front of the entrance/exit of escalators – or narrow grocery store aisles?)
WHY CAN’T THEY JUST STEP OUT OF THE WAY AND TEXT THEIR MERRY HEARTS OUT???
Of course, there are times when we have to be on our phones while we’re with Real Living People.
Recently, I told a friend who stopped by for a visit:
“I just want to let you know upfront, I need to be checking my phone because I’m expecting an urgent message from my doctor.”
I felt (a little) less rude, for having forewarned the person I was with.
Perhaps, you’re at a meeting and everybody’s communicating via phones at the same time.
(BlogHer comes immediately to mind!)
There are, of course, situations that vary –
But most of the time –
Being on your phone (in any manner) when you’re with Real Living People is just rude.
Very few things in our every day lives are THAT urgent.
OK – now it’s your turn!
What’s your smartphone (bad manners) pet peeve??