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Cell Phone Etiquette - Politeness Always Takes The Cake

Updated on May 5, 2013
imagerymajestic @
imagerymajestic @
© MartieCoetser
© MartieCoetser

Who is in charge? The caller or the receiver of a call?

Cell phones, also called ‘mobiles’, are certainly one of the most convenient privileges we are enjoying in this day and age. Finally we are 24 hours per day connected to everybody and his brother who is able to satisfy our human need of information and interaction that could keep us happy and peaceful.

Unfortunately too many people allow this little wonder to change them into annoyingly, even infuriatingly, rude creatures.

I have learned early in my life how to treat my phone as a TOOL and not as an autocratic BOSS or medium that allows anybody to enter my privacy as if they are the manager of my life. The makers of calls are in fact self-centered, demanding attention without considering the circumstances of the person they want to speak with. Nevertheless, it is their right and privilege to make calls. The onus of responsibility rest on the receiver of calls. Through the way we handle our cell phone we demonstrate our character and dignity.

Let’s contemplate the following scenario’s of blatant rudeness:

Ambro @
Ambro @

Scenario ONE

You are in a scheduled meeting. The chairperson (or secretary or any member of the meeting) sees himself as too important to switch off his cell phone. He answers every call and by doing this he -

  • Waste the time of everybody present;
  • Distract the thoughts of everybody present;
  • Assuring everybody present that they are not his first and/or only priority;
  • Spoil the entire purpose of the meeting;
  • Lose his own face.

Solution: During formal as well as informal meetings and, as a matter of fact, at all social gatherings, such as concerts, ceremonies, family reunions, wining and dining with friends, etcetera, cell phones should be ignored, unless we are on standby to save someone’s life or to handle one or the other crisis. Nobody is more important than the people in our presence. Cell phones have to be put on SILENT. Matters on the agenda of the meeting/gathering are to be our FIRST PRIORITY.

If we are a Very Important Person, we can always ask our secretary to handle our calls personally and to take messages, or we can rely on the magnificent voice mail facilities of our cell phone. If we do expect an emergency, we should warn the people with us in advance and excuse ourselves properly before we take the expected call. Realizing that receiving calls during meetings/gatherings is a disruption should keep us humble.

artur84 @
artur84 @

Scenario Two

We are at a social gathering. The host/hostess keeps on sending messages via their cell phone to some or the other (obviously) important person in their life. And so they assures us that -

  • Someone more important as any of us present has a desperate need to communicate with them;
  • We are wasting our time; we could have stayed home and communicated with them via cell phone.
  • We are unwelcome and should rather leave.

Solution: The same as for Scenario One.

Ambro @
Ambro @

Scenario Three

You and your partner are spending quality time together. All of a sudden his/her cell phone rings. S/he gets up too fast, greets the soul on the other side apparently casual while walking out to continue the conversation elsewhere in camera.

You feel rejected and all of a sudden negative thoughts flash like lighting through your mind. Who is the ‘important’ caller? Why does your partner have the need to talk where you cannot hear him/her? When s/he finally returns, you are no longer comfortable; you are fighting suspicion, fear, anger, disappointment, sadness and endless negative emotions. You apply all your self-control in order not to lose your dignity. You have a desperate need to be alone in order to retain your normal composure.

Solution: Partners cannot always spend quality time together as if they are the only people on this planet. Depending on many factors, incoming calls may be important to answer. The receiver of the call should, however, take special care not to offend their partner. By merely being polite and especially via eye contact, partners can easily handle their obligations via cell phone in each other’s presence. If not possible, the relationship is obviously not meant to be.

imagerymajestic @
imagerymajestic @


Cell phones are not only most convenient mediums of communication but also reflectors of our character. Common people don’t give a damn about their character; they walk among us boasting with the motto, “Accept me the way I am or fly to the moon.”

Decent people, however, certainly care about their fellow-man and would not do anything that might hurt the feelings of the people in their presence. Decent people take Maya Angelou’s insight to heart:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

© Martie Coetser

Copyright :: All Rights Reserved

Registered :: 2013-05-05 00:20:30
Title :: Cell Phone Etiquette - Politeness Always Takes The Cake

Category :: Article Hub

Fingerprint :: 087064d7c3fd2ace1b69fac9e1fd370f7d10069a386017bf2d0f992e5e44cf106
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Feel free to add more scenario’s in the comment section...

I Just TEXTED to Say I Love You

Don't text and walk...


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    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you, Midget :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Sharing again, Martie!!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Hi torrilynn, imagine life when everybody stop allowing their cell phones to be their master. Thank you so much for your comment :)

    • torrilynn profile image


      6 years ago

      I find that cellphones get in the way of talking to someone face to face. It is good to know the ins and outs of good cellphone ettiquette and knowing when not to be rude. Voted up.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      Yes, let's hope that! People must always 'come first' - especially the real people in one's presence! It's even more than courtesy - - it's a mindset!! I know it is yours!! Hugs & love.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Nellieanna – Believe it or not, but all the times that I really needed my cell phone – when my car ditched me – I have forgotten it at home or the battery was flat.

      Now I must admit, my cell phone is a kind of a naval cord between me and the people in my world. I feel totally lost, deserted, vulnerable and actually exposed to ‘the enemy’ without my phone.

      The calendar – for scheduling tasks and appointments – and for my shopping list AND wish list – is so useful. Not to talk about the notes and especially the recording facilities. I often send audio-messages, when I don’t have time to text. When I get an idea for a story, I just record my thoughts instead of writing it down in a note. I once even wrote a hub on my cell phone - while I was waiting in a restaurant for B to finish his business in town. Copied and pasted in an email to myself and from there straight to the hubs. Oh, and the camera – and being able to send the picture immediately via email, or watch-up, or BB to someone, or even directly to Facebook. How very-very convenient! Let me just admit I adore my phone and don’t ever want to be without it.

      I like your description: “A one-gadget robot-at-one's-command tailored to one's needs and lifestyle, and fits in one's pocket!” That’s it!

      But still, I always regard the people in my presence as the most important, even while I am burning to answer a call, or see what’s up with my online friends. All my friends and relatives know that I don’t take calls when I am not ‘available’ and that I will phone them back as soon as I can.

      Thanks a lot for your supportive comment, my dear Nellieanna. Let’s hope that the next generation (babies up to pre-teens) will be ‘used’ to all electronic wonders and able to enjoy and appreciate real people, scenes and events.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      This is an excellent article you've presented, dear Martie. Put it on u-tube and let's make it go viral!

      I truly like cell phones for the purposes they were first invented, to be able to contact people from anywhere with important information or to call for help in any emergency. I never set out from home without my charged-up cell phone. It's served me well on more than one occasion, such as when my car wouldn't start when I was away from home; even when someone ran into my car while driving. Not often, but I've needed to either check the map on the phone or even call for directions en route to an unfamiliar location. But I don't do it while driving. I pull over before I talk on the cell phone. I don't answer a call on it till I can pull out of traffic. Nothing can be as urgent on it as safe driving. I owe others on the street the courtesy of not being a hazard to their safety. But it can track one's position and give directions.

      I love iTunes on it. It can even provide a little light after I've turned off the lights & headed upstairs to bed while it serenades me! I love having the handy phone-&-address book of all my contacts at my fingertips. I love being able to write a note to myself that will also appear on my computer through iCloud. I love having a calculator, a timer, an alarm clock, the weather report, a camera, messages, the calendar for reminders, being able to do a puzzle or write a poem while waiting for something; and much more.

      I remember when calling someone 'long distance' was an expensive thing, paid for by the minute, and the connection wasn't all that great, besides. Now I can call my daughter and friends in Indiana or California, wherever they are, without a thought of extra expense. I can even get my email and look at Hubpages if I like, though I'm not fond of the tiny screen for that. I don't have many 'apps' but I suppose I could watch TV or a movie on it if I did. I could order dinner or buy a movie ticket. It's like a one-gadget robot-at-one's-command tailored to one's needs and lifestyle, and fits in one's pocket!

      Even a very basic phone provides much freedom and security never dreamed of before the advent of cell phones. I'm just a bit of a techie, I guess. I like the vast opportunities at our fingertips. But they come with (or should come with) a responsibility to use them considerately & thoughtfully & to respect others' rights. The results are not very encouraging.

      What I cannot abide or fathom is that people use the cellphones to be virtually 'absent' from others with whom they are physically present! There is hardly a word strong enough for the rudeness of that. As you say, Martie, it sends the message loudly and clearly that the actual live person is not as valued or important as someone being chatted with on the phone. The actual people's time is not valued, much less their importance as people. Children with cell phones are now even able to 'dial out' their parents, it seems, starting younger and younger.

      Another peeve is people strolling along leisurely in the path of cars in parking lots with a cellphone plugged into their ears, totally oblivious that they are holding up cars trying to make their way to a parking spot. Some even do it on actual streets! If they were even aware enough to think it, it would seem like they're just daring the cars to disturb them, but they're so oblivious, they hardly notice that there are any other people or cars present! I'm sure there are countless other similar situations around a city in which the same kind of inconsiderate self-absorption exists throughout the workplace.

      I must confess that I've taken one advantage of the rampant expectation that everyone goes around talking on a cellphone, because I've been known to talk to myself when shopping. haha. Cell phones provide a perfect excuse for that. No one thinks a thing about it. But what does that say about the society in which we're living? :-)

      Surely the WORST rudeness+ is that which endangers people's lives by the use of cell phones for talking or texting while driving. Even if it's 'hand-free', a driver's attention is being divided & absorbed so he cannot be as fully aware and conscious of the driving as is needed for safety. Driving is not the place for multitasking and fatal statistics bear it out that it is not.

      OK, call me an old fogie. I can handle it. Just don't call me while I'm driving to tell me! :-)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ Epigramman - Oh, I've 'seen' the gentleman side of you and feel honoured because you are willing to carry a torch for me. Enjoy your beautiful lake; I wish I had one myself :)

      @ Ishwaryaa - The feelings of rejection and humiliation one experience when someone in your presence regards the one on the other side of their cell phone line more important, is quite awful. One has to have a pretty thick skin not to be bothered. Thanks for coming by :)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      6 years ago from Chennai, India

      A fetching hub! I agree with your well-presented views. Cellphones are taking over our lives and everyone from small toddlers to aged people proudly use them too frequently. People need to remember that they live in the real world and ensure that they follow cellphone etiquette. Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up & shared

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      Martie, I may be a rascal , lol, but I am also a gentleman, and I will always carry a torch for you ..... and yes you can bite my neck in my dreams , anytime, lol.

      Back home to the lake and it's heavenly here by the lake today.

      lake erie time 2:54pm and going back out to sit with my cats

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Dear midget, and those feelings always stay in us - like dominoes they would all fall the minute only one of them are touched. Thank you so much for sharing this hub again. I do believe that this is one of those hubs that could be shared over and over again. Eventually even the most obstinate people will read it just to satisfy their curiosity and maybe, just maybe, they, too, will then think twice before using their cell phones where they might irritate their fellow-man.

      Thanks so much for your support :)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      dreamseeker - Thanks for clicking in for the read and for agreeing with me that cell phone etiquette IS important. If only all bad-mannered people could take complaints too heart. Normally they don't give a damn about others and their opinions. Take care!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Hi epigramman - nice to know you have my number on your phone....but obviously not enough airtime to phone me? LOL! My cell phone is very much like a life line. Knowing that I can get in touch with my relatives and friends 24/7 wherever I am makes me feel safe and secured. Yet, this is a false sense of security/safety, because down here one can lose their phone and life in a second. We are totally at the mercy of too many criminals in our streets.

      You better beware of me in your dreams! I might turn into a vampire, you know. Fortunately Mr. B knows that he is my One and Only and he might send you a tut-tut card just to empathize with you because you have me only in your dreams.

      Oh, Epi, you are such a rascal!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      I like the quote Gwen picked out, Martie. Yes. People will remember the feeling more that whatever it is you actually do. That's what resonates and helps them connect! Thanks for sharing, and I'm sharing this again!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love your hub! Especially this quote:

      "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

      Voted up and awesome. Phone etiquette is important, especially today.

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      I hate cellphones and what it has done to society -making us a bunch of zombies ......and I only carry one in my car for two obvious reasons:

      for car emergencies and to keep in touch with my best girl Martie - I only have one number on my register and it's yours when your main man is out of harm's way , lol.

      On the other hand cellphones are good for all kinds of emergencies and if I had a daughter or a girlfriend I would be relieved to know they are carrying one ...... and once again Martie of Magnificence you have taken a fairly popular and mainstream subject and made it your very own with this esssential hub presentation - you are a world class journalist, a first class writer and the woman of my wildest hottest dreams , lol

      lake erie time 4:47pm and good wishes from Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      shanmarie - down here it is actually part of the welcoming speech of all formal occasions - a request to switch off all cell phones. It is quite amazing to see how many people haven't thought of doing this before they entered the hall :)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      6 years ago from Texas

      It could work, if only because so many would actually relate to it! My personal, pet when someone apologizes for doing it and then does it anyway. Haha Unless someone is a good friend of mine - the kind where calls can be taken in front of me and we're not in the middle of an important discussion- I don't think it is a bad idea to excuse oneself and leave the room to take a call if necessary. But people in a checkout line will tell the cashier and everyone behind them to hold on by lifting finger to shush everyone, and often times without even looking up from fumbling through a purse or something. Haha. What about the fact that movie theaters even remind people in the ads and previews to turn off your cellphones? Rude, but it is all rather comical. They could definitely create a TV character like that.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      shanmarie, I also 'see' a comedy TV-series. Let one of the main characters be the rude cell phone user.... People do learn when they see their own behaviour on the screen :)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Actually, that could make for a series of rather amusing commercial advertisements. And it would still get the message across. Dream away...and while you're at it - how about you pitch it to some advertising execs? Hhaha

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Hi tillsontitan - Maybe it is time for us to demand respect. "Do you realize exactly how rude you are doing what you are doing now?" is actually all we have to say to the cell phone addict. Those who are decent will stop the habit of using their phones when they are with others and those who are truly selfish and ill-bred... well, they are in any case past redemption. Thank you so much for your support :)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ shanmarie – Let me dream - Local TV-and-radio-stations ought to launch an educational program about cell phone etiquette, to be broadcast over and over and especially to be seen and heard by people standing in lines. Even cell phone agencies could turn this into a marketing program. I really think that most people don’t even realize how terribly rude they are. Thank you for your support :)

      @ midget38 – Thank you, and also for sharing this hub. I appreciate your support tremendously. Working half-day, taxi-ing the grandchildren in the afternoons back and forth to their music school, and-and-and, keep me from being 100% active online. I look forward to catch up in your corner.

      @ smcopywrite – I agree with you. Sadly, online activities are regarded by too many as more important than living in reality. Such a proof that people have a desperate desire to escape from this planet.

      @ Alecia Murphy – Oh, I am one of those walking down the halls checking my FB and inbox. The only time I can do it at work, because behind my desk I have to focus on numbers... numbers... numbers.... I feel totally off-balanced the day I forget my phone at home. I am surely addicted to online-interaction with my friends. But really, I do try my best to consider everybody in my presence. Thanks for sharing your view. Thanks to you, I will try to be more considerate in the future. BTW, I know of many work environments where the use of cell phones and Internet are forbidden. Let’s face it: Cyberspace is for many an asylum.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      There are times I wish the cell phone had never been invented...don't get upset, most of the time I am glad for it, but...the scenarios you mentioned are all too frequent. The cell phone ringing in church, the texting while you are talking to someone...just a small sampling, in my opinion, of being rude. Like anything thing else, there is a time and a place for everything and cell phones are no exception.

      Well done Martie and shared so we might touch someone who needs this message.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Even though I'm a millenial, I'm firmly old school about cell phones. It irritates me to no end when someone I'm talking to picks up their phone and I'm looking at them having a conversation.

      But now my biggest pet peeve is at work where I'll be walking down the hall and the person in front of me well be texting with their head down without noticing someone's behind them.

      And someone near me's phone keeps vibrating. I think it's getting to the point where a policy will be necessary to have a productive work environment.

    • smcopywrite profile image


      6 years ago from all over the web

      there really is very little cellphone etiquette displayed by lots of people. this is an unfortunate circumstance of the techy world we live in. thanks for sharing a wonderful hub on some real info

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      I agree, shanmarie, that can be completely annoying. The most important thing about a conversation is attention and listening......which is totally disrupted when that phone goes off.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Great hub! I am not much of a texter myself because I find it more efficient to just speak on the phone, but it bothers me when people are too busy texting to make eye contact - especially if said person starts the conversation with me.

      I also find it offensive when people are in public, say in the checkout line trying to pay for something and too busy chatting away on the phone to pay attention to what the cashier may be asking, thus holding up everyone else in line. I've been both the cashier and the person behind the one on the phone and find it equally annoying either way.

      Bottom line - don't speak to me and someone at the phone on at the same time. Isn't that what voice mail is for?

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ drbj – People very close to me, including myself (sometimes), have the awful habit of taking and making calls and even TEXTING while driving. The mere thought of this gives me the creeps. Strange, when I am doing this it ‘feels’ okay, but when I am the passenger I tend to ask the driver (pretty rude) to stop doing it while they are responsible for my safety. I know about a couple of fatal accidents in my region due to cell phone activities while driving. It is against the Law down here. Thanks for reminding me where I’ve seen that video for the first time :)

      @ kallini2010 – Well, once upon a time people did not use safety belts while driving, so maybe in time handling cell phones while driving might be less dangerous due to feasible development.

      “Why exactly do people get so angry in a car?” would be an interesting topic for a hub. Almost as controversial as, ‘Why exactly do people kill when they have a gun in their hands?”

      I must admit, when I am driving and some reckless hooligan behind a wheel scares me, I immediately lose my temper. I might tootle like mad and curse like a sailor, but for some reason I will not throw hand signs. I believe doing the latter would prove that I am also nothing but a hooligan.

      I must admit that I, too, find incoming calls inconvenient; I have to remind myself that I should consider the caller’s need to speak to me. Doing to them what I want them to do to me. Oh, and they better have a good reason for calling. All my life I’ve been too busy to enjoy phone conversations. Reading messages and replying is one thing, receiving calls is another thing and making calls is yet another thing. All depends on whether I am at work or at home.

      OMW, those people yakking in a cell phone on a bus! Comparing them to those talking too loud to each other... How more annoying can a person be, ramming their conversations down everybody’s throat?

      Thanks for your generous comment, Svetlana :)

      @ Ruchira – Cell phones, and actually all phones, in fact all communication equipment are mirrors reflecting our character for all to see. We might bluff the person on the other end of the line, but not those who are able to hear AND see us. Thanks for sharing :)

      @ lovedoctor926 – Really, there are few things more bad-mannered than communicating via a cell phone with a physical absent person while one is in the presence of others. It is almost like praying aloud on a street corner. Ridiculous! One day I’ve made the terrible mistake to peep at a message while a man (relative) was talking to me. The next moment he walked away, leaving me blushing with regret because I was so rude. I’ve promised myself to ignore my phone when I am with others, although, it IS easier promised than done. The powerful attraction of cell phones should not be under-estimated.

      @ Faith Reaper – I’ve noticed that people get completely hooked by somebody via a cell phone, as if they are all of a sudden physical with that person. Then all we see of them is a talking body without a spirit. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

      @ AliciaC – Hopefully humans will outgrow cell phones and all magical communication tools. It is actually such an amazing phenomenon – finally people are controlled by little ‘robots’ that enable them to be more powerful than they are being only flesh and blood. Electronic devices eventually surpassed humans; they are no longer tools and equipment, but proverbial gods playing puppet-on-a-string with humans.

      @ ImKarn23 – Down here cell phones in schools get confiscated when students dare to use them during classes. But during breaks you’ll see every second learner playing with their phone instead of interacting with their fellow-learners. With a cell phones in the hand the introverts no longer feel alone and excluded. One cannot help but wonder what kind of confidence are they building via an electronic device?

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      lol..i couldn't agrree more, Martie - they don't call them Iphones for nothing! it's more like I I I!

      They could rename them MEphones! it rolls

      it is beyond my comprehension that students are allowed to have their cell phones in school..D'UH! seriously - D'

      real people aren't what's important anymore - the word 'social' has changed drastically from when we were coming up...

      giggled through the entire post - we're ALL been there, and - ya know - it's either laugh or....

      voting/sharing my friend

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Cell phones can be very useful, but cell phone etiquette is becoming a big problem! People can be so rude while using their phone. You've made some great points in this hub, Martie!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Awesome write here dearest Martie! It had to be said, unfortunately, and I am glad you did!!! Once, I was waiting in a long line at the post office, and when it was finally time for the next person to walk up to the counter to be served by the postal employee, that person was talking on her cell phone and did not even bother to hang up or tell the person on the other end to hold on to tell the postal clerk what it was she needed. So, she wound up wasting everyone's time! I have heard people in the building in which I work going to the bathroom and sitting there doing their business while still continuing to talk on the phone! How absurd to say the least. Sorry to paint that graphic picture . . . disgusting!

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This was an excellent hub. I agree with your points. Great examples. The lady sporting the red coat in the picture above reminds me of a friend of mine who I went out to dinner with a while back. I felt that I was having a conversation with myself while she spent most of the time texting. She wouldn't even look up to acknowledge me and the funniest part was that she kept telling me that she was listening to go on. yeah right whatever! just plain rude and annoying!

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Cell phones sure are portable but unfortunately, that made us leave our manners at

      Great examples, martie.

      Sharing it across.

    • kallini2010 profile image


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Good topic, Martie, but I don't think manners will change very soon. Will they ever change?

      I think there is a phenomenon of being polite to people in person, but rude while driving. Why exactly do people get so angry in a car? With all finger gestures and all - honking...

      Cell phones take over - we are no longer very comfortable with face-to-face interactions - we text, we e-mail, we forget what manners are.

      I am not best with phones either, especially my land line, most calls that come through that device of torture are advertising calls - so I get angry even before I pick it up (I am not proud of that!)

      Maybe exactly because of the reason you mentioned - I feel violated in my own home - a phone call is an interruption, a person who calls does not know what I am doing. Maybe it is not the best time, maybe I don't want to be contacted at all. My parents had the "best" habit in the world - if I was in the washroom and somebody called me, they would come and shout through the door and stay there and wait. I'd be furious!!!

      And maybe the solution to someone who pays more attention to those who call should be with them not with the present company. Maybe it is the best time to get up and leave (I have my own scenarios in my head). People yakking in a cell phone on a bus - my FAVOURITE!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      The cell phone is an addictive piece of technology and unfortunately, cell phone addicts now abound. When driving, I play a little game, counting all the other motorists who appear to be on their cell phones. Some seem to be talking to themselves without the phone visible, but then I realize they are using the cell phone mechanism built into their car. I used to be surprised when I saw someone talking on their phone while driving. Now, Martie, I am surprised when I see someone who is not! Dangerous situation.

      I love that woman walking into the fountain video, too, I used it in my 'Strange Psychological Facts' hub to illustrate the fallacy of multi-tasking. Excellent hub, m'dear.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Always, I knew you would agree with me. My cell phone may be a distraction - I am always curious to see what's up with my friends and relatives. But at the same time I don't allow it to demand my attention. I often ignore calls just because I don't want the particular caller to take my attention away from whatever I am doing at the moment. Afterwards, when I am ready, I would send them a text message or I might even call them. Addicted or not, I am still in control. Take care, dear Ruby :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Martie, You are completely correct. I know i would be lost without my cell phone but i use it when i am not with someone who would feel left out if i placed or received a call. There is a time and place for personal calls. I often turn my phone off if i am in the company of another. I can remember when a cell phone was unheard of and we survived. Thank's for the reminder..Great topic....

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ DDE - 'Control' is the key-word. There is a time and a place for everything. If parents don't teach their children how to distinguish between right and wrong, civilization is definitely doomed.

      @ MsDora - Well, I am stunned. Texting in church is a complete 'no-no' in my books. "Just get up and leave with your cell phone galore," would be my request. And not because they are showing disrespect to God - which we in any case tend to do daily - but because they are showing disrespect to their fellow-man who attend church specifically in order to be for an hour or two OUT of this world and in a divine atmosphere where handling cell phones are certainly 'sin' - (missing the purpose/point/goalof the occasion). Oh boy, I would certainly give the guilty a sermon they will never forget. Shame on them!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ Nell Rose – yes, the repercussions of partners who prefer taking calls where the other cannot hear them are certainly disastrous. All that negative feelings, and all those reactions provoked by actions. At the end of the day nobody really knows exactly what caused the final break. Love is jealous, but the way one understand, control and practice love/jealousy determines the level of peace, joy and happiness one will achieve. There should be no secrets between true lovers. “Where lucidity reigns a scale of values become unnecessary.” – Camus. Thanks for your input, Nell.

      @ hawaiianodysseus – what an excellent example. Only a person with insight is able to observe (and understand) the emotions of a child. Now keep in mind that the baby/child/teenager in us don’t die as we aged, but live happily (or not) inside of us adults. If we can understand our emotions, we can understand other’s, and then we will surely not be rude.

      Another scenario is the grandchild fiddling with their phone while the grandparents are visiting. Showing such disrespect. Of cause, in some circumstances this is allowable, but we will always know when wrong is wrong and right is right.

      I’ve heard the other day of a boy of 12 who does not even leave his room (computer) to spend some time with his visiting grandparents. Now in this case, in the shoes of those grandparents, I will surely rebuke such a rude grandchild AND their parents. A parent should never become a victim of their children’s shortcomings. In a loving way a parent should always be a parent, unless age and illness turn them into children.

      Thanks so much for your input.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      This week end I was distracted at church by two people near me who could not put away their cell phones, and they were not doctors or rendering any kind of emergency service. You might need to preach this in church. Thank you.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      @ marcoujor – Cell phones – actually their inconsiderate owners – can spoil the most precious moments. They are NOT babies or small children, therefore they deserve the greatest contempt and nothing else. Those couples on date fiddling with their phones... One can but only wonder what kind of a relationship they are suffering. Thank you for letting me know about the err. Love you!

      @ Just Ask Susan – I deleted your first comment, but just because you are more pleased with your second. I actually knew what you meant in the first one. But I know the feeling when one realize that they might be misunderstood, or that they could have structured a comment better. We writers tend to be perfectionists when it comes to writing. Thank you, again. Did you see the last video I’ve inserted in the hub?

      @ pstraubie48 – Oh, those talks in the elevators! Absolutely unbearable. Have you noticed the acting? As if those poor souls have a desperate desire to be envied. Their ‘reward’ should be dirty looks by everybody present.

      I would like to suggest that whenever we do receive a call in the wrong place, we should make a special effort to acknowledge the people with us by apologizing BEFORE we take the call. But have you ever noticed how a ringing phone disturb its owner? As if it is a snake to be killed without delay. Really, I feel like making a list of the way people react on their ringing, or rather beeping/buzzing phones.

      @ agapsikap – What a horrible story! And I do know more in this category. I must admit that I am totally addicted to my online friends and all their hubs and status updates. I am exercising all my self-control at work in order to stay offline. It seems to me you’ve got your priorities perfectly in line. My hat off for you.

      @ Vickiw – my dearest dinosaur, I’ve been a chatterbox since the day I was born, so social media is just my cup of tea. But I am still in charge, although addicted and not willing to be anybody’s addiction, and also still preferring face-to-face interaction.

      Now it is time for me to take my grandchildren for music lessons. I’ll be back asap....

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      So agree with you about the use of cell phones most people are rude and inconsiderate they don't think of the other person they are with while talking or texting. It is easy to blame the cell phone when the person is using it at the wrong times and they should have control over their use of cell phones, Well said!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Hi to ALL - it was night down here and now morning.... and I have to go to work. Thank you for your fabulous comments. I can't wait to reply on all as soon as I'm back this afternoon. Must admit, it takes a lot of self-control to stay off-line while I am at work.

      See you all this afternoon of mine.. :)

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      You tell it like it is, Martie! Great scenarios here! If I were to add anything, it would either be a subsection of the social scenario or take up its own primary spot--When We're With Children or Grandchildren. Example: A grandchild is celebrating his 3rd birthday, and as out of state grandparents, it's a big deal for our grandchild that we came so far to visit him. Imagine how hurt he'd feel if in the middle of blowing the candles out or opening birthday gifts, Grandpa gets a business call and leaves the party for an extended amount of time. Imagine, instead, how happy and secure the child would feel if he heard Grandpa say, "Sorry! I'll have to call you back. I'm celebrating my grandson's third birthday, and wild horses couldn't pull me away! I'll call you later!"

      Aloha, Martie, and have a great week!


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi Martie, oh how I agree with you! especially the partner who walks out of the room to take 'that call'. It can cause suspicion and jealousy, even though it may be an innocent call. The one thing that drives me mad are people who text or phone constantly at a party or pub, who are they talking too? and if that person is so darn important why oh why didn't they bring them with them? lol! great hub, and as you can see it sets us all of about mobile phones! lol!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am such a dinosaur - resistant to using social media, and have the most basic cell phone possible. I hardly ever use it - except for long drives etc. As a result, it is usually in a non-charged state. I love not being able to be accessed whenever it seems someone has the urge to phone. Incidentally, who ARE all these people that keep others occupied on the phone at all times? I've never been able to figure that out! I feel that people can always leave an audio message on my home phone, and if they don't like to do that they can call again.

      One of the saddest and rudest things I see is in restaurants, when couples go out together, and spend the mealtime each on their phones. But then, I am a dinosaur, who still believes in the magic if face-to-face conversation. . .

    • agapsikap profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      Hello there, Martie. Years ago, it was nanny from the neighborhood was using celphone trying to text and text. Completely ignoring the 3-year old boy playing around and neglecting her duty totally just by sitting in one corner. Not knowing, the little boy grab the tail of the cat roaming just around them. Shocking and shaking the boy never cried and did not tell, or rather cannot tell exactly what happen. He was bitten by the cat. His mom and dad are both working. During nighttime the little boy rushed into the hospital for being sick. The rest is history.

      Sadly not everybody can set aside celphones especially during working hours. Very funny yet a true confession, I had two cellphones but neither one you can hear ringing for the whole day during weekends. When my husband is on his work that is the time you can only hear it ringing but very minimal, even texting i'm not used to it. I have 1 year old baby and I have to set aside calls from bugging me when needed.

      Another great hub, and totally awesome!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Susan, not to talk about texting while driving. I know about fatal accidents due to this irresponsible habit. I should have added the scenario....

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      I just watched "The Devil Wears Prada" last night for the first time. The cell phone was definitely a nemesis in the story!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Bravewarrior, the pros of cell phones are definitely more than the cons, but one con is certainly a devil - a cell phone is a powerful distraction. And employers know this, but may not violate human rights - a lost case :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from North Central Florida

      Discourteous cell users may be close to the top of my pet peeve list if it is not number 1.

      It is very uncomfortable to be privy to someone's most private calls when nestled next to that individual in an elevator, room, car, or other setting. And it is just plain rude. However rude seems to be a word that is largely ignored when it comes to phone usage.

      I know that I have broken the rules of proper usage from time to time and there really is NO excuse. If my call is that important I need to make it or receive it privately.

      thanks for sharing.

      Angels re on the way :) ps

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sorry Martie that came out all wrong. Let me try again :) I think when I see people walking down the street, totally oblivious to what's going on around them is ridiculous. Makes me wonder how many people get injured or worse because of texting.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Martie,

      Well scribed reminder of a subject that is as offensive to me as popping bubble gum in polite company...

      I agree with Sha about turning that phone down...just today in the middle of a special ceremony for my nephew, a cell phone rang out...piercing the reverence of the event. I think that is shameful...even a doctor on call can turn a phone to handle life-threatening emergencies.

      And to see couples on dates, not speaking...just heavy into their little sad is that?

      Being present is the best present of all.

      Beautiful work...voted UP & UABI. Love, Maria

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Martie, much of the population uses cell phones as a status symbol: they are ever so important - "look I'm so important my boss doesnt' recognize I had a life before being sucked into his web!"

      I turn my phone to silent (vibrate) when I'm in a restaurant or on a date, in a meeting, movie theater, etc. Employers need to respect personal time. Friends can wait unless it's an emergency. Cell phones can sometimes be life-savers, but most often they offer a constant connection between the life we leave at 5 p.m. and the people we truly are.

      My cell phone is a stupid phone; it can't access the internet and it doesn't allow me to Skype or check my email. My phone is a phone that acts as a typewriter when I need it to do so. Otherwise, when you see me online, I'm available. Maybe. You'll know by whether or not I respond within 15 seconds of your emission.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Sunshine, when I am with my children - specifically with my daughter and daughter-in-law - and they discuss topics I am not interested in, I tend to communicate via cell phone with my online friends. So I am often guilty as charged. What can I say? I am not always what others want me to be. Ha-ha.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Peg, I am still trying to understand the power of cell phones. Exactly why do people prefer communication via cell phone above interaction with the people in their presence? It could be because we are egocentric. Maybe we feel smarter, more loved, more important through the eyes of those on the other side of the phone than through the eyes of the people in our midst. Let's face it, we will forever be babies in need of special attention. But whatever the reason of our 'addiction' to those people we cannot touch, we ought to consider the feelings of the people in our presence.

      Oh, I just remember a video I've seen about a woman texting while walking in a shopping mall.... Let me see if I can find it.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Uh oh. I'm guilty as charged. I've been reprimanded by my family about texting while they are speaking to me. I've gotten better though. I think. I noticed that our doctors have become more comfortable during visits and text or answers their phones. At first I was a bit surprised. Not any more. I still make sure we get our time in before he's allowed to leave the room. I think it's amusing to see someone walking around with a hands free phone. They look like they are talking to themselves. Haha!

      I agree we could all use some lessons in cell phone etiquette. Myself included. Thanks for the lesson Martie! :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      How true this is Martie. It is frightening to see how many people walk about talking or texting and ignoring the people they are with. Even in the grocery store, it is not uncommon to see mothers who are completely oblivious to their children while talking animatedly on their phones. Having been in the telecom industry for a dozen years, I cringe at the monster that has become of this device which was intended to increase communication but now serves as a barrier.


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