About a year ago three teenage cousins were invited by their grandparents to go out for dinner and then to a play. They all seemed excited about the activity until they arrived at the restaurant. After they arrived, two of the three girls received text messages. Instead of shutting off their cell phones and enjoying the company of their grandparents and each other, they started text messaging their friends and each other. This left the grandparents and the third cousin sitting there feeling left out, annoyed and uncomfortable. At the theatre they continued text messaging throughout the play. Each time a text was received the phone would vibrate and the light came on, annoying the people around them. It was also embarrassing and insulting to the grandparents.
Unfortunately this is a commons story and it happens often. When it comes to cell phones and text messaging we often forget our manners and etiquette. We don’t consider how the people around us might feel. Think about the last time you were kept waiting while somone you were with had an non-important texting conversation.
Some people think that portable devices such as BlackBerry’s used for texting, emailing and planning your day follow different rules of etiquette then should be followed for chatting on a cell telephone. I think that most would agree they are generally less annoying then being forced to listen in on a cell phone conversation just because you happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, just because they are more private and less disruptive then cell phones it, doesn’t mean you should use them at anytime. Checking and responding to e-mail, text messaging or planning your day on a portable device during these times is just plain rude!
- During a meeting, public event, lecture or in a classroom.
- Restaurants. (Unless you are alone)
- Places of worship, weddings & funerals.
- In someone else’s home or office.
- While socialising with others face-to-face.
When using any kind of electronic conversational device for texting, emailing or talking, consider the people around you and on the other end of the conversation.