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Mobile Phone Use by Many Is Outrageously Rude

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Seriously. If you want to come round and visit me, put your bloody phone away. I'm not sitting here checking my email, replying to it, or chatting with people on Facebook - or even worse, answering phone calls - whilst you're here, so I would appreciate it if you could mind your manners and actually act like you appreciate being with me for a while.

And if you say, "I'm not doing any of those, I'm just sending a few texts" it amounts to the same damned thing. It'll piss me off because it's rude and I've got better things to do than sit here and wait for you whilst you keep interrupting our conversation because you think it's more important for you to communicate with others.

I have set aside time to sit and talk with you, to hear what's going on in your life, and if you're remotely interested in what's going on for me, you can ask and I'll tell you. I did not invite you over or agree to spend time with you so I could watch you play with your bloody phone.

I promise, the Earth will not stop revolving and you will not die if you put that stupid thing away or shut it off whilst you are in my company. That doesn't mean put it on silent so it vibrates and you can keep checking every time some text or other lets you know it's arrived. Do you think I'm blind and I can't see you glancing at your phone? Are your other friends more important whilst you're with me? Is what you're texting/emailing/Facebooking about more important than I am at that time? If so, go home and quit wasting my time. If not, turn the bloody thing off and let's talk.

What the hell did people do before emails and texting and mobiles anyway? Do you think everyone shrivelled up and died when they went to visit someone for a couple of hours and people couldn't get in touch with them?

I'm insanely busy. I have tons of stuff to be doing. My time is valuable and if I'm giving you my undivided attention, the least you can do is respect that and show me the same courtesy. If you don't think I deserve the same respect from you, then stay home.

If you have a sick kid or some kind of real emergency that might need your attention during our time together, or if you've got a work situation that requires you to be checking, then by all means, let me know about it at the start of our visit and I will do the same if I have something brewing.

And when I say real emergency, could you please consider what those words really mean? People have become so used to having their bloody phones glued to their heads, and being able to hear every teeny piece of news, or being available to everyone at every moment, that they have lost all perspective on which calls, texts or emails they really 'just have to take!'

The stupidest things have taken on ultra-important meaning in our culture. It's outrageous.

Well, my time is important and I am not going to sit here and watch people play on their phones. It is especially infuriating to see two people sitting and playing on their phones together, giggling back and forth, looking at stupid stuff, showing each other God knows what kind of mindless drivel, whilst someone else is sitting there in the same room, being ignored, wasting time watching this rubbish.

I won't be doing it any more. From now on, if people start playing on their phones, I'm going to haul out my laptop and get to work until they're finished. Let's see how they react to that - and in the meantime, I'll get a bit of work done. I'm absolutely not willing to waste any more of my time on people who are so disrespectful as to muck around on their phones when they are in my presence.

Most of us are really not so important that we have to be on call 24 hours a day. If there's a really good reason for you to need to be checking on your various beeps and buzzes, then tell me and I will accept that. If it's drivel, be prepared for a reaction you might not like. But I can assure you, it will be no worse than the way you have disrespected me.