Just what IS the etiquette for using a mobile phone? Apart from the obvious such as resisting making a phone call in the middle of a packed cinema or theatre.
Perhaps we need to educate people. For example: a mobile phone is not a megaphone. There is no need to yell into it.
Sometimes, if the person at the other end of the railway carriage is having a loud conversation, I like to yell responses to the half of the dialogue we’re all party to.
It usually starts with an annoying ring tone, and the person at the far end yelling: “Hello!”
I can’t help myself. I answer: “Hello!” equally loudly.
“I’m on the train!”
“So am I!”
Things usually goes downhill from that point on.
And here’s another consideration: people deserve more attention than a wee hi-tech gadget. In other words, when in social situations it is courteous to switch your phone off.
And when people are being served in a shop and are chatting on the phone while handing over the goods, the money and collecting their change they are NOT multi-tasking; they are just being ignorant.
Also, people really don’t like it when you put your mobile phone on the dining table and then gaze longingly at it during the meal as though hoping for a call that will relieve the tedium of your present situation. If it rings, you’ll still hear it even if it’s in your pocket.
And clickety-click sending a text while somebody is talking to you is the equivalent of yawning in their face.
All of which explains why one of my favourite film clips of all time is Dudley Moore in the film “Crazy People”. At the beginning of the film he is stuck in traffic on a bridge. Next to him is a sporty convertible with the top down. The driver is yelling into his phone, annoying everybody around him.
Moore calmly gets out of his car, walks up to him, smiles and asks if he might borrow his phone – just for a minute. Intrigued, the driver hands over his phone, and Moore throws it as hard and as far as he can off the bridge.
What worries me is that I can see myself doing that one day when it all becomes too much.