Monday, January 22, 2007

Masked Mom's Media Monday: Cell Phone Manners

I'm not going to talk about cell phone etiquette and I'm not going to rant about cell phone junkies in general. First because "etiquette" is one of those things people often convince themselves (probably wrongly) only applies in formal or business situations--not, say, in the line at the grocery store or in the back row of the movie theater and so on. And second because, living in the teeny town I live in, I've been relatively sheltered from the really rude cell phone junkies that seem to plague major metropolitan areas.

But I am going to talk about a cell phone crime so heinous that I may need therapy to recover from it.

I was browsing at the library this afternoon--a thing we know I dearly love to do. I only had ten minutes I could steal away from work and so I was sort of speed-browsing. In that ten minutes, three patrons received cell phone calls. All three of them answered their phones and carried on conversations right there in the library!

Now, our library strives to be a casual and comfortable sort of place, I think. None of the librarians are of the "shushing" persuasion. There are often quiet (and even not so quiet) conversations taking place in every corner. But c'mon! Taking a phone call?! In the library!? Nearly shouting to be heard over static, telling your husband or your sister or your mom--along with every other patron in the library--what's for dinner or where you are or what movie you're trying to check out?!

Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Uncivilized.


  1. Youngest Sister1/23/07, 8:25 AM

    I'm right there with you on that. Our library has a great big sign saying "All cell phones should be turned off" and it STILL doesn't stop people.

    On a side note, I was in an elevator once with an angry pregnant woman who was talking on her cell phone about how the father of her child was basically just a sperm donor. Definitely too much information shared with strangers when you have public conversations on cell phones.

  2. little sister1/23/07, 9:31 AM

    When I was working at said library we had a 50 something, large female patron wearing a halter top (with visible black bra straps) jeans,and head set who was checking out books and trying to confirm her inter-library loan requests while having a loud conversation on her cell phone. In the midst of pointing out to her daughter(?) the pros and cons of having sex on the first date when it was a blind date she proceeded to pull her library card from the middle of her rather abundant, sweating cleavage and hand it to me to complete her transaction...somebody define civilized. PLEASE!As a member of shushers anonymous it was about more than I could handle. :-)

  3. I freakin' hate that too. I love libraries but nothing puts a damper on them like a muffled version of "My Humps" coming from someone's purse while you're trying to help your son find a decent Easy Reader!

  4. Ooh, I'm with you sister. So not cool. Although I'm not sure which is worse, that or doing it in the movie theater when I've actually paid to get 2 hours in front of a film with NO phone calls to interrupt. Sadly, I've experienced both. Wouldn't the world be better if everyone was like us?

    Thanks for the nice comment at my place this week and for the trail back here. Nice to meetcha!

  5. People are just too rude. It would be more considerate to have the cell phone on vibrate and walk to a more private place to have a conversation. I have had it happen during meetings or even trainings. It is just inconsiderate of others.
    I do understand needing to have a way to reach someone in an emergency. But really, is an emergency what to pick up at the grocery store? And, what about being considerate enough to have "I'm too sexy" during a meeting with state officials?
    Enough is enough!!

  6. When I was telling Cranky Boss Lady about the cell phones in the library, she said, "The library should put up a sign telling people to turn their phones off." I think she's missing the point--the kind of people who don't automatically "get it"--that the library (or all those other places everyone's mentioned here) isn't the place to carry on a cell phone conversation--are the kind of people who are going to ignore the sign anyway. Anyone who thinks common courtesy and minimal social rules don't apply to them is damn sure not going to pay any attention to a sign.

    I know my irritation level on this may seem out of proportion. I've been thinking of seeking help, but there will probably be ten people yakking away on cell phones in the therapist's waiting room and I'm pretty sure that's not going to turn out well for anyone.

  7. Time to cast etiquette to the winds and deck 'em! Since civility is so foreign to them anyway....wandered over from stuntmother. wave.

  8. Hey, Molly--I like your idea way better than posting a sign!

  9. I was next in line at an ATM, when the guy using the machine gets a phone call. Since he's 143 and somewhat new to 'technology', he fumbles to find the phone in his pocket, fumbles to open it, fumbles to find the right keys, etc. During this time, mind you, he is NOT advancing in his ATM transaction, as he has pressed no keys. Ok, I can see he is trying to 'hurry', but since he is still having a phone conversation instead of using the ATM, I am getting pissed. It takes Warren Buffet about 45 seconds to explain to his wife why he cannot talk ("I am at the ATM"; "BECAUSE I am at the ATM"; "I've got to go, I'm at the ATM"). Oh Joy Warren! Since Lovey Poo is obviously a woman who does not 'get it', and it seems you have been married since 1832 so I'm sure you are aware of her not 'getting it', WHY DID YOU ANSWER THE PHONE IN THE FIRST PLACE?! If you cannot talk, let voicemail do it's glorious job and take a message so you can call Lovey Poo back once you are done depositing your social security check.

    Thanks. I feel better.