Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why Does Having A Cell Phone GIve License To Treat Friends Rudely?

    Today, I am going to rant.  This is something that really bugs me and so, here we go.  Today is the day on my blog site.
   We all know about the thoughtless aholes who ignore signs and keep their cell phones on during movies, plays, and other public performances.  We have all witnessed parents in grocery stores, obviously still in work clothes, with children in tow but yakking senseless things on their cell phones ("Are we going to get together for a movie soon?"  "Do you really think I should have bought those jeans?"), while the children try in vain to get a few moments of their attention. Yeah, we are all familiar with those instances.
   But, you know what really irritates me?  Friends (or relatives for that matter) who set a date to go to lunch or dinner with me, and then proceed to take phone calls from anyone who calls; like it is going to impress me and the rest of the restaurant patrons that they are so popular!  She/he MUST be a celebrity!
   Before you jump down my throat, I get that emergencies come up.  You also get, however, that I am not talking about emergencies here. I am talking about the fact that I took time away from writing, or from my husband, my parrots, my life to-guess what-be with that friend! My time is no more or less valuable than theirs. I wanted to be with them and thought they wanted to be with me.
   Yet, they have no problem answering their phone in the middle of our conversation and holding another conversation, or repeatedly texting.  Even answering the phone is rude.  Turn the damn thing off for a couple of hours, unless you truly have someone ill or something. 
   I don't care if they have children or husbands.  Unless the children are at the age where they are supposed to report their whereabouts, they don't need to have a parent at their constant beck and call. And, if they do need to call and report their whereabouts, they should be taught that the only reason to call is that.  Seriously, at some point children need to realize that parents do have a life besides catering to them.  It will not kill a child to have to wait two hours to ask if they can take swim lessons, or can they get a new Ipad, etc.  Is it so awful to teach children that the whole world does not exist simply to cater to them? Does your thirty year old have to have immediate access to your ear for the rest of your life?
   The same goes for husbands.  Come on, men.  Give up the power trip. Do you really have to call you wife while she is at dinner with a friend?  Do you think you could possibly wait to ask about plans for the weekend or what is for dinner tomorrow night?  I mean, can't you tell other people who may be asking that your wife is out with a friend and you will check with her when she gets home? One called to tell my friend he would be working when she got home, so she should not disturb him.  How about a note when she walks in the door?  Or, is it ok for you to disturb your wife at dinner, because it is only you who should not be disturbed?
   Why do people think they have to get immediate answers when they have a question?  I mean, really, if a person can't wait until I get home to get my answer or to have a conversation with me, then I don't mean that much to them.  Truly, I would be better off without them, because my greatest worth to them must be that I will jump to make their every question and request my immediate priority.
   But the worst is friends who talk and text to friends on the phone while sitting with me at dinner.  Is that conversation more important than ours?  Why did you not go to dinner with them, then? If I am not worth a couple of hours of your attention (I considered you worth that), then let's end the friendship. I have many friends who do value me, and a ton of things to get done, just like everyone else.
   You know what I am goig to start doing? I am going to start bringing a book along  The next time someone at dinner answers their phone and starts talking, I will get the book out.  When they are done and hang up, I am going to hush them when they stoop low enough to finally talk with me.  "Please," I will say, "let me get to the end of the chapter first."  How do you think that will go over?  Isn't it kind of the same thing?
   Why have cell phones made us treat the people right in front of our eyes so very poorly?  Life is going on right in front of these cell phone junkies, but they are so busy talking on their phone to someone they can't see that they don't realize it. 
   All kinds of books make best seller lists about simplifying your life.  People pay top dollar to figure out ways to do it.  Here is how you can do it.  For free.  Turn off your computer.  Turn off your cell phone.  Pay attention to the people with you this instant.  Love them.  Listen to them. And check your messages later.
   If the people who called or emailed you really like you, they will leave a message. They will be just as happy to talk to you later as they would have been had you rudely disrespected the person with you at dinner. If there aren't any messages or emails, then either no one had anything important to say, or you don't have any real friends, after all.

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