You know what I don’t understand? People who have a GIANT issue with other people looking at their cell phones. I’m not talking about texting while driving, or people bumping into one another because they’re pretending to be wonderful on Facebook, or whatever. That, I get. No, I just mean folks looking at their phones while standing in line, or waiting on their burger at Wendy’s, etc.
My parents, for instance, become enraged if I pick up my phone. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point. We can be at their house, deep into hour two of Family Feud, nobody saying a word. And if my hand even inches toward my phone… it starts. “You just can’t leave it alone, can you? You’re like a drug addict!” And it goes on for five solid minutes: while you’re under my roof, you will NOT take your eyes off Steve Harvey and his amusing exasperation.
I just don’t understand. I get annoyed about many things, God knows it’s true, but that ain’t one of them. How is it any different than the spiffy gents above? I have a feeling nobody was up their asses for reading newspapers in public, right? What is it about cell phones that drive people so crazy? My folks are certainly not alone. I hear the complaints all the time, from all age groups. It’s not just the seasoned citizens, not by a long shot. Whatever. I’m for people using their phones more.
Some other things I believe they should be focusing their passions on: people who back into parking spaces, people who walk around fast food restaurants chewing, people who congratulate one another on Facebook even though they live in the same house, people who say ‘it is what it is,’ people who saunter outside of accepted sauntering zones like parks or walking trails, people who repeatedly clank their silverware while eating, people who say ‘Well, we could use the rain,’ people who ask what comes on a Big Mac, people who say ‘I’m so OCD!,’ people who drive at radically different speeds than I do, people who use cologne, people who say ‘I can’t even,’ and people who take a drink and go “Ahhh!’
You know, like a rational person?
I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
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Miss Q says
That one guy with his hands clasped together, staring straight ahead…he’s pissed at all those newspaper-readers, I guarantee it. “People can’t even look one another in the eye anymore. It’s disgraceful!” Grumble Grumble…
I was thinking more along the lines of, “fuck, I can’t believe I forgot my morning paper”.
I have to agree with your parents. It is annoying. And it is really annoying when I am trying to talk to someone at work and they are doing that or sitting there with those earbud things in their ears. I don’t have a smartphone and don’t plan to get one unless I have to someday.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
I am completely done with vocal fry. I have disengaged from otherwise interesting radio interviews and what-not because of my complete and absolute intolerance of this trend, observed mostly by young women. Also, I hate how folks have begun to speak their common and/or factual statements as if they are questions? I reckon it is being called ‘uptalk’ (?) E.g., “So I went to the store to buy some bananas and ran into your friend Steve while I was there?”
The Original Wordnerd says
How about the dual aggravation of vocal fry+uptalk?
Lee Harvey Ramone says
This is why I could never carry a gun
You’ve just described Kourtney Kardashian
Annoying: Looking at your phone while you should be engaged in other activities such as (but not limited to) driving, eating, having a conversation, ordering anything at a counter, having sex, on another phone with someone else, using the bathroom (1 OR 2), riding a bike, jogging, walking down a crowded street, engaging in a sporting activity or telling someone you want to watch “the big game” with them and then spending all the time watching said “big game” chuckling at idiotic Facebook memes and looking up every 10 minutes and mumbling, “So who’s got the ball?”
NOT annoying: Using a phone when you are standing in line, seated at a bench (bus stop, subway, park), at the DMV, while others are watching TV that you don’t give 2 shits about, in bed going to sleep or home alone by yourself.
At least reading the paper you’ll learn something. Daughters phone looks like a pinball machine blinking and flashing. You can bet it isn’t updates from CNN ( oh wait thats “push notifications” sorry). I get quite riled when that crap starts while we are watching a movie. She inevitably asks what she missed. Oh yes I use bad words in front of my kid. Count my blessings, she’s smart and doesn’t fry.
““You just can’t leave it alone, can you? You’re like a drug addict!”
People say the same thing to me about my penis.
Alice in WV says
people who take a drink and go “Ahhh!’ – makes me want to take a big swig of Coke. and I don’t drink Coke.
I don’t care if you look at your phone. But when I’m trying to have a conversation with you, don’t be staring at your phone going “uh-huh” as I speak. (Watching TV in silence is not a conversation.) Newspapers on the subway is cool; it’s an ancient, hallowed tradition. Even though Ricardo Cabeza there is standing in front of the door, which is uncool.
Yet another thing I don’t understand… at my new job, there is a culture where people get on the elevator and press the Door Close button. Maybe they’re trying to give the impression that they are champing at the bit to get to work, and that even a few seconds’ delay is unacceptable. I guess most people don’t know that the Door Close button doesn’t actually do anything unless the elevator is in “fireman” mode. If they do know that, then they’re even bigger douchebags than I thought.
Depends on programming. All our elevators at work have a functional door close. Get in, hit the door close, hit your floor and away you go. If you wait for it, its got a delayed pause (vs a simple pause) that creates those awkward moments.
My current least favorite phrase is “It is what it is”. What a useless waste of words. I recently discovered that a woman in a nearby office has a wrought-iron wall decoration of that phrase- now that’s irony!
If you think you’re not addicted to your phone remind yourself how much you freak out when you think you’ve lost your phone.
People can be driving down a snowy highway and they’ll *still* grab their phone and see what brain buzz that latest phone bing will deliver, despite knowing how stupid/dangerous this behavior is = addiction.
Any attention whore who insists on starting any sentence with t the word “so”. Watch any interview and some douche nozzle who didn’t prep for 9 days is bound to start off a sentence with “so”.
All social inept fucktards who, while bleating away on their phone, dares to put up their pointer finger. This usually happens on a check out line.
Cashier: that will be $27.83
Pointer finger up as if the poor shlub interrupted peace talks.
Any idiot chewing food after they called me. Hey sugar tits, didn’t disrupt your lunch. Chew, swallow, speak. It’s a simple concept.
The engineering and scientific community seems to be big on starting every sentence with “so”. It’s a way of sounding declarative and in-charge. These are insecure people who don’t give much of a shit about grammar anyway.
I hate people who can’t put their fucking phones down. Sue me – it’s rude. Just about everybody in my family does it whereas I could not care less for keeping in touch with the world on such a tiny screen. Whatever the fuck it is – it can wait. I watched this shit at a Christmas gathering: my stepdaughter constantly picking up her phone to scroll or type a message. Evidently we’re not enough for her – she’s got to carry on conversations with other people at the fucking Christmas dinner table. And it didn’t just infuriate me – it made me sad. Just what the fuck are we turning into?
It can wait for what though?
If you are in a room of family, there is no conversation, grandpa is hogging the TV with it on Maury, and nobody is paying any attention to you then what’s the different between dicking around on your phone and daydreaming?
I’ve never understood why people standing in front of you deserve any more attention than people 1000 miles away; especially if the people 1000 miles away are the ones that want to communicate with you.
1) Common curtesy (the cohesive glue of society)
2) Family is important (see above)
3) Sunshine’s family was eating dinner, not watching TV
If you can’t turn off your personal intelligent device during family meals, you have a DSM-identified habituation disorder.
When we used to go out, we went out with friends and family. Now we go bowling alone, and, as Sunshine said, that’s sad.
I still don’t understand.
The family is sitting there at the dinner table for Thanksgiving dinner.
No one is saying anything and every one is eating.
My older brother then turns to me and asks, “How’s work?”
I respond his question.
Everyone would agree that in this situation my brother and I interacted appropriately.
However, let’s change it up a little bit.
The family is sitting there at the dinner table for Thanksgiving dinner, other than my older brother.
This year he and his wife are spending time with her family two time zones over.
No one is saying anything and every one is eating.
I receive a text from my older brother asking me, “How’s work?”
In this case, because he’s on the other side of the phone it is inappropriate to respond to his question.
Is my brother no longer important?
How far away from you does somebody have to be before it is no longer rude to not respond to them when they address you?
“When we used to go out, we went out with friends and family. Now we go bowling alone, and, as Sunshine said, that’s sad.”
When you used to go bowling, did you go bowling with people from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand? Probably not.
Now with my phone I can interact with friends from these places nearly anytime I want.
I mean real friends too, not random names on the internet. A guy I fought a war with from Australia, and another from the UK. I friend I met online and have never met in person in New Zealand. A girl I met once while we were both vacationing in Canada at the same place who lives in Thailand. If those people from all these disparate places are more interesting, or are actually interacting with me at the time, and you aren’t; then that’s on you. I’m not going to sit there and shovel room temperature ham in my mouth while ignoring my friends on the off chance that someone else at the table may be upset because THEY think they are more important. Even though the people within smelling distance don’t feel the need to actually be interacting with me.
Let’s look at another point.
If I am talking to my brother at the dinner table. Is it polite for my sister to interrupt us?
No it isn’t. Then why is it okay for my sister to interrupt us when we are already in a text conversation.
The same thing applies the other way too. Interrupting a verbal conversation with a text one is equally rude, but simply because you are standing in front of me doesn’t give you priority over someone I’m already dealing with. Your physical presence isn’t what puts you at a higher priority. What you have to offer me determines your priority. If I need to buy lettuce and you are trying to accommodate this (a cashier) then you will get higher priority than somebody sending me pictures of dogs. However if you are trying to cash me out at the register but my broker needs me to answer a question that could cost me $15,000 then you (the cashier) and everybody unlucky enough to be behind be are going to have to wait until I don’t lose $15,000 to get my attention. (Of course I could step out of the line, but that is situationally dependent.)
You know, I went bowling once, and it WAS sad – at least I wasn’t alone.
Nor, I suspect, were you making $15K equity buying decisions between rolls.
We are coming apart, losing family and community. Robert Putnam’s metaphor for this, twenty years before the recent election made it official, was bowling alone. We are just catching up with Dr. Putman’s thesis, and his book and other work is jarringly real as I look around. You might be interested in at least reading the Amazon review . . .
Thanks. I was obviously not familiar with the book. Quite interesting. Read all the reviews and the first chapter – on my phone, but not at the dinner table.
Sunshine, your story reminded me of this horrible horrible Comcast commercial that aired last month:
If I was grandma and grandpa I’d tell that spoiled little bitch to stay the hell away from my house since she obviously can’t handle a few hours of actual HUMAN INTERACTION……
Mr. Bum, I agree with your sentiment, but perhaps the b-word is a little harsh for a nice young lady like this. I do, however, think she should travel elsewhere and just go fuck herself.
There are many cultures around the world in which older folks, especially grandparents are respected and even revered. Ours ain’t one of them.
Phil Jett says
I think that is Junior Soprano on the far right. Before he got the huge 80’s spectacles.
The difference is the guys on the train with newspapers will put them down when they get off. They don’t carry them around all day and look at them at every opportunity.
There’s a lot of self righteous folks who have seriously precise ideas about cell phone usage… It’s adorable, really.
The first traffic light was installed thirty years after the first automobile was invented and fifteen years after automobiles were common. Culture is always chasing technology while technology is changing culture. The most common and least palatable meal for a snake is its tail.
Shiny Rod says
Let me saunter over here. It is what it is….
Phantom Railfan says
I’m continually annoyed by businesses where every single employee is compelled by management to stop what they’re doing and shout “Welcome to (insert business name here)!” every time a potential customer walks in the door. Whenever I hear that I always wanna yell “Shut up and get back to work!” I dislike it chiefly because it feels so forced and phony, and it’s usually obvious that the workers hate it and are forced to do it.
By the way, has anyone here ever snooped around on their kids’ phones?