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Cell Phone Rudeness

Updated on September 30, 2007

Are Cell Phones Running Our Lives?

I like to joke about how I'm one of the three people left in the world without a cell phone. I occasionally wish I had one, like when I'm running late, lock myself out of my apartment, or want to call one of those "How is my driving?" numbers (this is one of the times when it is probably a good thing I don't have one). As a cell-phone-free-citizen, I think I see a lot of things that cell phone users don't realize about themselves.

Now, before you get all up in arms, defending yourself as any true cell phone user should, bear in mind that I used to have a cell phone. It was a cute little thing-well, not so little when compared to the cell phones of today-but it had a small flip top, a decent ring tone, and I carried it with me everywhere. When the flip top broke, I was given the option of upgrading for free-but chose to have it repaired because none of the newer phones had my ring tone.

I thought giving up my beloved cell phone would be difficult; but, after a few days without it, I felt like I had never even had one. Now, almost three years later, I can no longer imagine what it feels like to be reachable all the time. I do, however, notice the obsession other people seem to have with their cell phones. It often seems like they are drawn out of the world we all share into their own dimension, where they and their cell phones are the only things in existence.

This belief was further compounded by a recent experience. At work one day, I entered the women's bathroom on my floor. I had just made myself as comfortable as one can perched on a public toilet with a thin, rough sheet of paper separating you from the porcelain, when I heard a voice. "Hey, how's it going?" I paused, hesitating before answering because I really didn't know who was in the next stall, or why she was talking to me.

Then I realized I was simply overhearing her side of a cell phone conversation. I suddenly felt uncomfortable about going pee. What if the other person on the phone heard? I shrugged, realizing it wasn't my problem, and finished using the restroom. As I washed my hands, listening in on the rather boring cell phone conversation, something else struck me: not only was this woman talking on her cell phone in a public restroom, which is kind of weird, but that meant she was probably having her hands touching her face, the toilet, the wiping, and oh gross! I couldn't think about it anymore. The germophobic part of me needed to escape the situation.

Another time, I was sitting on a commuter bus on my way home. A cell phone in the back of the bus started emitting loud lyrics to some song with words like "shake it, shake it, shake it" and "my sexy body"-surprising lyrics for the middle aged, round woman who answered it.

Closer to the front of the bus, but on one of the side seats that makes it easier to glance around and view my fellow passengers, I tried to reabsorb myself in my book. Unfortunately, the "shake it, shake it" woman either didn't realize her voice echoed throughout the bus, or she felt the need to compensate for being on a cell phone by speaking extra loud.

"What did the doctor say about his prostrate? Really?...Is he still having a hard time peeing?...They have to do surgery on his prostrate?"

Every time the woman said "prostrate", her voice seemed to raise a few octaves. I tried to stare at her, with an annoyed look on my face, to perhaps clue her in that not everyone on the bus wanted to listen in on her conversation. She didn't notice. After a while, it just became amusing, and I'm not one who can hold back giggles in public. Within a few minutes, those sitting around me also caught a case of the giggles and we went into a shared fit of laughter over this stranger's prostrate problems. Needless to say, I didn't accomplish any reading on that bus ride.

My final rant is directed towards drivers on their cell phones-really, I just can't resist. I walk almost a mile from my bus stop to my home. It is a treacherous walk because cross-walks no longer seem to be a safe haven for pedestrians. I approach cross-walks with a wary caution, scanning the drivers of approaching cars.

Many drivers stop, make eye contact with me, and assure me that it is safe to cross the street. But the drivers on their cell phones seem to have trouble talking and driving at the same time (much like walking and chewing bubblegum, I suppose). They never seem to see me, pull right into the crosswalk, forcing me to run to avoid being hit, or go out of my way to walk around their car.

My desire to not let these small, everyday occurrences stress me out allows me to let my annoyance go in these situations. I have to wonder sometimes how necessary it is for these drivers to talk on their phones, especially when it results in their inability to be aware of pedestrians.

I've heard there are studies that show talking on cell phones while driving causes less accidents than drinking or eating while driving cause--but, I do believe that talking and driving at the same time causes drivers to pay less attention to other things on the roads. What scares me most about these drivers is that they don't even seem aware of the fact that they are distracted.

So while I currently remain a minority as a cell-phone-free-citizen, I know that I will someday lose that status. Hopefully this will serve as a reminder to me in the future, and those of you currently with cell phones to remember some sort of etiquette while chatting away-and, try not to hit any pedestrians!


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    • profile image

      G-Ma Johnson 10 years ago

      Well said,a nd more people need to stop to talk on their phones, what happened to caring?

    • Sindicut profile image

      Sindicut 10 years ago

      I have my cell phone, but I never use it. I talk to my mom and my best friend and thats it. I don't get how people can spend hours talking on the phone when its so much more simple to actually TALK to them face to face.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      I think cell phones are great for people to have. But, there is a time and place for everything...and sometimes it isn't a good time to loudly talk on your cell phone.

    • kellyfilmgirl profile image

      kellyfilmgirl 10 years ago

      I hate my cellphone! In fact, I lost it about two months ago and haven't replaced it. My friends remain annoyed at me.

    • ericsomething profile image

      Eric Pulsifer 9 years ago from Charleston, SC

      I shut down my cellphone a couple of months ago (something about an unpaid bill), and, although I used it every day for business and personal use, I don't miss it all that much. Most of the people I communicate with are online anyway, and they're smart enough to email. All except for one buddy; he has no computer and he's still feeling all upset 'cause he can't call me.

      But it's funny to watch people yakking on their cell phones, in another world, walking out in traffic without paying the slightest bit of attention. There may just be a little Darwinism at work here.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      A bit of Darwinism...yes...until they are stupid enough to do something that kills the smart person who isn't on a cell phone.

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 9 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Stacie,

      Cell Phones Are For People, Not People For Cell Phones!

      I recently got an iphone. I LOVE my iphone. It is the greatest gadget of all my electronic toys, ever.

      Now, that said -- I am with you 100%. First time I heard someone answer their phone in the bathroom stall. Like you, I thought they were talking to me? I have kept that little secret up until now. LOL

      Sooo weird, in the bathroom? Come on! Also, I am totally against it when I have taken my time to spend it with someone, say we go to lunch... the cell phone goes off -- Hello Hello.... uh, hey -- I thought WE were going to have a conversation and visit today?

      So, I am bothered as to why people don't just turn their phones to vibrate when they are supposedly engaging with someone right in front of them.

      It is my feeling, that these cell phones are wonderful for OUR convenience. But, they work for us, not us for them. I tell my friends that my cell phone is for my needs, and not everyone else's. That's my selfish side. After all, I am putting THEM first.

      Just because it rings, does not demand that I 'jump' and drop my life for a little metal toy!

      I hear you.


    • profile image

      sarah 9 years ago

      i love the idea of saving the planet!! we should all learn to live ECOLOGICALLY

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Stacie- I love the hub on cell phone rudeness. I hadn't seen a hub on the topic recently so I just posted my own hub on it today! Check it out- i'm anxious to see what you think!

    • profile image

      larrimar guerrero 7 years ago

      larimar guerrero it gets worse, the rudnees of talking on the cell phone while picking up rx from pharmacy i think, is beond rudness, there crucial information to give and to receive. so lets put our phines downs when dealing with medications.

    • profile image

      Pete 7 years ago

      I just had a guy thrown out of Starbucks for cellphone rudeness.

      It was great.

      HE was on a long loud call, so I simulated a loud coughing jag, so realistically that the manager brought me a glass of water.

      When he initiated another call, I started coughing again, so he hung up and came over and called me an a-hole. I reported him to the manager and he started yelling at her so he was escorted out of the store.

      It was priceless, I thought the guy was going to stroke out.

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