Dear Obnoxious Phone Users of the World:
While I will never deny that my cell phone has allowed me the opportunity to amuse myself during a boring class, I understand that there is a time and a place for texting. Please learn when it is appropriate to have a relationship solely with your keyboard. In case you need some help, I have given some strict guidelines below. Adhere to them or you will end up friendless. For real.
During a Broadway show: Whoever says that the little light from a cell phone in a darkened theater is not distracting to other people around them is LYING. Broadway tickets cost over $100, and it is never okay to distract an audience from someone’s beautiful voice with your clicky texting sounds. Furthermore, in small theaters the actors can see you texting. You can’t get much ruder than that.
During a movie: While significantly less expensive than most live theater, the continuous “click click click” sound and the cell phone light make me want to take my $12 Diet Coke and dump it all over you.
As an excuse not to call: While a couple of text messages are always appreciated, they do not replace a conversation. If you have a story to tell, don’t text it; pick up the phone and call. It’s not that loving texts and cute stories are not appreciated, but it shows a lot more effort and care to have a ten minute phone conversation than to exchange 30 texts and have everyone around cringe at the endless vibrations.
Repeatedly during dinner: Maybe it is just that my mother forbade me from text messaging during the first two years of my cell phone’s existence, but I don’t think that when you are sitting down to a meal you should be staring down at your lap at your phone. Are family dinners no longer sacred?
When you are with other people: This is even truer when it is just you and one or two friends hanging out and you can’t just disappear in a corner for a little while. The best thing to do is to shoot of one text saying “With friends, ttyl,” so that your electronic friend knows you are not ignoring them but doesn’t suddenly expect you to sit there texting the whole night.
People always tell me that it’s rude to not answering text messages, but if something is really important, then it should be spoken, not communicated in a way that requires emoticons. Please adhere to these rules so that we can all live in a world where face-to-face communication in still valued.