Why is it such a pain getting a hold of you on the phone?
Why can’t you talk now?
Why does it take so long for you to respond sometimes?
I generally do not answer the cell phone, or text, when in the presence of friends/family/co-workers etc.
…Unless I am waiting for a certain call, or it is from one of my sons. Even then, I try to step away from the person/group I’m with and keep the conversation as brief as possible. It irks me when people answer their phones and then hold long conversations with intermittent raising of the index finger to the other party indicative of the “just one minute” than turns into twenty. This is especially galling to me when it is just I and the other person. When I am with people I aim to give them as much of my undivided attention as possible. With the above exceptions I tend to send calls to voice mail. I will listen to the message and respond (or not), accordingly, always opting for the least intrusive option to the company in front of me.
I do not hold cell phone conversations when on public transportation.
…except to inform the caller I will return the call when I reach a place where I can speak in relative private. I will not be that person. You know… the one sitting the other side of the subway car, or halfway down the block, but I can hear every detail of “what had happened was…”, even through my iPod. Obviously I will text, if I must.
Unless it is an emergency – no one should be texting/calling me between midnight and 9am without expressed permission to do so – period.
1) If it is that much of an emergency you should calling, not texting.
2) If contacted between these hours without a damn good reason, you get all the attitude I feel like dishing out for the disturbance.
3) If any call between the hours of 2am – 6am that does not involve the police and/or an ambulance, when I see you again – there is a chance it soon will.
Please Note: a fuck-up on your part does not automatically designate an emergency on mine.
When in the street and I need to text, I step out of the flow of foot traffic (and especially vehicular), to do so.
Very few can walk and text fast simultaneously, For most of us, to ability to perform either one or the other function drops considerably when doing both. This is especially true when it involves steps. and I am stuck behind someone walking at the speed of sludge because they have to get that last word in. Literally. Also, if I’m in the street that means I am attempting to get from Point A to Point B as expediently as possible. Thus, I may wait until I’ve reached my destination first, for walking while texting defeats that purpose.
I do not call to just say Hi and hang up five minutes later.
I do not call people for casual conversation unless I really have time to sit and speak with them. If I cannot give you my attention, or if I am somewhere where a private conversation is not feasible when you call (ex. sitting at my desk at work or on mass transit), I will tell you and try to get back to you as soon as possible. Just note, as soon as possible my be an hour or more away, especially if I am at work or out with friends (see above). Regrettably, this means I do not speak with as many people as I like, as often as I like, when I can’t give them the time I think they deserve from me (*cough vortex cough*), but I think they know that.
Essentially, With the noted exceptions, preference is always going to be given to the one/s right in front of me, whether in person or on the phone, when I give someone my time, I give someone my time.
And your time is worth it.
Visit the rest of today’s Slices of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.
I’m with you, Raivenne! I am constantly amazed at this constant contact generation. I’m old fashioned. Leave a message; I’ll call you when I get home. Seems like EVERYTHING is an emergency these days. Sorry; not for me.
Great post, my friend!
I have certain friends who look at me as though I am more insane than usual when I dare to remind them how we had perfectly fine lives and were actually happy gosh darn it! I have absolutely no problem with shutting it all down every now and then. Thanks Charles.
I’m so with you on this as well. If I have a phone, it’s for MY use and I don’t owe it to anyone to give in to their demands especially when it’s over nothing. I think a lot of people are ignorant of ANY etiquette and it’s a shame because it’s all about respecting yourself and others. I only make one except to the times I can be called. I have ONE friend who likes to wake me up every morning, so he can call me whenever but other than that, no exceptions but for emergencies.
Hear, hear! CP! Thanks!
Wait, (*cough vortex cough*)? Unless you’ve started using that phrase with people other than Hobbit Central, not sure what you mean. I haven’t complained. We go quite a while, then it’s Vortex City. Way it is. N’est-ce pas?
I agree with most of the above, but I’ve always been baffled by one of them. Why do people think it’s such a no-no to talk on the phone in public or on public transport? I get being annoyed if the person is yelling, or saying “What? What? Can you hear me now?” as that pulls focus, but I speak in a normal or slightly quieter tome of voice, and never say anything I wouldn’t say if the person were right there with me. People wouldn’t complain if that person were there and we were having the conversation, so why is it a crime to cut half of it? People can’t stop from eavesdropping? Isn’t that at least partly on them? I don’t go on and on forever, as it’s harder to hear anyway, and I don’t raise my voice, but public means public- excessive noise is one thing, but I don’t understand the stricture that one must maintain total silence unless you have someone else physically with you. Just don’t get it.
Thanks Q. Oh fret not my honey of a Hobbit! It was my pseudo apology for the incredibly long (in my opinion), amount of time that passed betwixt vortexting. Thoust art my only vortex, I sweareth!
As for my personal public ban – I should first note the above or my rules for me. It was not to imply I expected or hoped anyone to follow suit, just simply explaining why I behave as I do phone usage wise. – There are people who can carry on perfectly fine conversations and it does not bother me. It’s just blends in with the generic white noise. However, that is not me. My voice carries, I know this. When trying to hear and be heard, what should be a relatively private conversation becomes anything but. You know some of the conversations I can have, between trying to adjust for personal volume and self censoring, my conversational input is nearly monosyllabic. I’d rather just wait until I am some place, where I can say what I want and how I want to say it. Again, it’s just my personal preference for me – YMMV.
That whole thing about people being in the middle of a real conversation, their phone rings, they answer and suddenly the real…in person convo comes to a halt…kind of uncomfortable. I always think, “what should I do, do I leave, are we done…?” But of course I can’t ask them because they are in the middle of a conversation 🙂
Bingo ! You get your five minutes, but then it’s only fair to the other people (or the one person0, to inform the caller that you’re out with others and you’ll call them at another time. Anything over ten minutes is just rude, especially if you did not have the decency to at least excuse yourself from the group/table/whatever to have the extended conversation. Thanks Betsy.
Giving people face to face time is so validating and important. Creative post.
Absolutely! Thanks Mary Helen.
I think you’ve done Emily Post proud – but you’re probably not old enough to recognize that name – complement to you!
Oh WakeUpAndWrite, I am quite familiar with Ms. Etiquette. While I am certain, Ms. Post would heartily approve of my personal phone rules, I have committed more than enough egregious errors and blatant disregard of other social graces to give her just pause. Thanks 🙂
A-MEN! I’m even against plans, which come up from time to time, to install the equipment necessary to make cell phones usable in the subway. We don’t need to be continuously exposed to half-conversations which usually consist chiefly of yelling. I also feel the frustration of people interrupting conversations in order to answer the phone.
Oh Bob, a man after my own — (holds up index finger) wait let me take this call…
Just teasing – thanks.