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Texting and Manners

Updated on September 2, 2013

Social Situations

You are at a family party, or a bar, or a restaurant, and half the people around you have there phones right next to them. Every few minutes they are answering a text or posting on Facebook or Twitter or perhaps even reading their email.

When did this become acceptable behavior?

It is not nor has it ever been acceptable behavior. It will continue to be accepted until we begin to stand up and take a stand on the issue. Playing with your phone in the company of others is down right RUDE.

Put the shoe on the other foot and see how it feels to be ignored or put in second place after a text conversation.

It doesn't feel so great now does it?

Why is it wrong?

By texting and doing Facebook posting, you are telling the person or persons you are with that they are not as important as the person you are texting or posting to.

This need to be in constant social media contact is commonly referred to as FOMO; Fear of Missing Out. What is really sad is that our media is constantly showing commercials of people using their phones to stream data or send texts and we are sending the message that this constant rude behavior is now acceptable.

How does that make you feel when you have to constantly interrupt your conversation to wait while others answer a text?

I have gotten so frustrated by watching someone constantly play with their phone that I have cancelled out on the next social situation just so I don't have to be around this rude behavior.

Have you ever cancelled on a person for the same reason? I have many times. But then I have also told them the reason why. I like most people, want to feel wanted.

texting in public
texting in public | Source

Are you Bored?

Sure, maybe being around your Great Aunt Rosa bores you to tears. Yes you have heard the same conversations over and over again from your mother. But is it ever okay to make her feel less important or ignored all together?

We all would rather text away to the new hottie we just met, but lets face it. It is down right rude to hurt the feelings of ANY other human being.

Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you yourself would like to be treated! I, for one, want to feel like I matter, and I don't feel like I do when you are constantly texting and looking at your phone instead of looking and listening to me.

I am sure there are many different things we can talk about that we would both find interesting.

Taking a phone call
Taking a phone call | Source

What are you missing?

How much of your family's life are you missing by posting pictures to Facebook at every event? Sure Grandma and Nanny and all your friends see how much fun you are having, but you are missing out on that smile that you may never see again. You are missing out on that special wave your three year old does when she looks at you to see if you are watching.

The only memory you are going to have is the picture you took at the moment. You are missing so much precious time by playing the media game.

It is also a known fact that people have been robbed because the whole world knows they are at the pool at 1:15 in the afternoon. Is it really necessary that everyone knows what you are doing every minute of the day while you are doing it?

Your friends and family will appreciate your photos just as much if you wait till an appropriate time to post them.

Do you feel ignored and slightly hurt if others text while in your company?

See results

Does it anger you to be with someone who is constantly texting?

See results

When is an appropriate time?

Texting and Facebook-ing or other media sites should be done in a private time, period. There is no other appropriate time.

If your spouse is watching a TV show that doesn't interest you, then by all means ask them if it is ok if you Facebook or text.

My favorite line is "If you are with me, then BE with me".

There is plenty of time when you are alone that you can keep up on your texts and other social media sites.

I have let many times go when I gave the person the benefit of the doubt that their family member is ill or a friend is feeling down, so I am not totally heartless.

If you need to answer a text in the presence of another, just apologize and give them some detail to let them know it is important to you. Most people will understand and appreciate the respect you have shown them by asking.

Put the phone AWAY
Put the phone AWAY | Source

When is it okay to take phone calls?

Taking phone calls are only appropriate when you are waiting for a special call about an ill one, or perhaps a job. There are numerous reasons that you must answer a call.

When you feel that you must take a call, politely excuse yourself from your company and take the call in private.

The words "I'm sorry I must take this" excuses bad manners. By all means, do NOT take the call in front of others unless it can't be avoided.

Miss Manners

Although Miss Manners is the first one to agree that texting in the company of others is rude and belittling, she is also the first to point out that correcting one's rudeness is also bad manners.

That leaves us with one alternative: pass this hub around to those precious ones that hurt our feelings by ignoring us with their second hand conversations in our presence.


Let your people know and feel that you really WANT to be with them.

Try this!

Try this little game to discourage texting while in the company of others.

While at a bar or a restaurant, everyone put there cell phones in the middle of the table.

The first person that can't hold back any longer and MUST look at their phone to see who is texting them, pays the entire bill.

Not only does this discourage texting in the company of others, but it is fun to see who can actually hold out.

Stop Texting and Driving

Although this isn't my subject, this is also a very important point about texting.

Nothing is so important that it can't wait till you stop.

Most states are passing laws that prohibit texting while driving. It is dangerous AND discourteous to the other drivers around us as we are not paying attention to the road.

Pass this hub along!

If you have a loved one that texts or does Facebook while in your company, please pass this Hub article on to them.

© 2013 Rebecca Shepherd Thomas


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    • rebthomas profile image

      Rebecca Shepherd Thomas 4 years ago from Powell Ohio

      You nailed it on the lost time. Thank you!

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      Your article is right on target. It is unfortunate that so much time is lost or so much important time is missed because we are not fully present and engaged with those around us. I have never been in that situation but would surely balk and chastise such a person. Voted up and useful.

    • rebthomas profile image

      Rebecca Shepherd Thomas 4 years ago from Powell Ohio

      I totally agree!!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm one of the few people of my generation who doesn't enjoy texting. I view it as a necessary evil in most cases. That being said, I hate when people text around me like I'm a statue. It's rude. Just don't respond, they can wait.