06 October, 2006

A Plague of Cell Phones Upon Your House

Scalzi's weekend assignment points to a recent viral video. A (supposed) professor walks up to a student who answers his cell phone in class and punishes the student for his behavior. Was that professor justified in doing what he did? Have people completely lost all sense of courtesy when it comes to their cell phones? This is a pure opinion piece, folks -- tell me what you think.

I'll have to suspend my disbelief here, because I think this video was a set-up. If someone were really taping a lecture, they would've stayed on the professor instead of zooming in on the back of the head of Mr. Chatty Pants. But let's assume the incident really occurred. I don't think the prof was justified in destroying someone else's property. Seems a little like inappropriate "road rage" behavior to me. He would, however, have been completely within his rights to remove the phone from the kid's hand and pocket it. Then the kid would have had to beg for mercy after class.

As for people and cell phones in general, YES! My poor husband has been in one too many restaurants (ok, Chinese buffets) with me when I absolutely fume at the rudeness of the 10 construction guys using their Nextel walkie-talkie feature loudly enough that I can hear the conversation. And that **beep beep** sound drives me up a freakin' wall. First, I'm not a Nextel hater - I own a Nextel. I also know that you don't have to use the direct connect function on speaker - you can hold the phone up to your ear and pretend you're on a regular phone call.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable here, but I propose
10 Commandments for Wireless Users:

1) Thou shalt keep thy phone on vibrate when you are in public. (yes, the Mexican Hat Dance ringtone was funny in 1998 - now it's just annoying)
2) Thou shalt not answer thy phone in a movie theater
3) Thou shalt not OPEN thy phone in a movie theater (those LCD screens are bright!)
4) Thou shalt excuse thyself from the table and leave the dining area of a restaurant to answer thy phone
5) Thou shalt SHUT UP AND DRIVE
6) Thou shalt not text while driving
7) Thou shalt not use speaker phone in public
8) Thou shalt not use juvenile ringtones. (Cats meowing, dogs barking, police sirens, any sort of alarm, or -gawdhelpme- the sounds of bodily functions.)*
9) Thou shalt always think of others' needs before engaging in a telephone conversation which others might find disturbing or annoying. Always.**
10) Thou shalt not text while walking in a crowd.***
(I asked for some help with my 10 Commandments - and you delivered:
* from Janette
**from Wil
***from Laura

Extra credit: Do you sometimes answer your cell phone at inappropriate times?
Rarely. I answered at work once or twice when I really had to talk to the person calling, but I went to the breakroom to talk. And I talk when I'm driving. Scott, on the other hand, is so attached to his phone that he may some day need to have it surgically removed. Case in point: he answered his phone mid-way through our first date and talked to a female friend of his for at least five minutes. I have since forgiven him, but I haven't let him live it down.


Janette said...

I hate telephones. HATE. THEM. Note that I didn't specify cell phones. All cell phones managed to do was allow me to be irritated by other people's phones in public instead of just being irritated by my own phone at home.

I do admit that I talk on the phone while driving, as a matter of fact I place most of my calls while driving. It gives me the chance to mutli-task and do two things that I hate at the same time. Of course I do use my speakerphone, which makes me look like a moron talking to myself but I suppose it makes me marginally safer.

I always turn my phone off in theaters. I never take calls at the table in restaurants. I think the last person I text messaged was Scott, years ago. I don't generally talk on the phone in front of other people. I excuse myself and find a fairly private place to hold my conversation. Luckily my husband "gets it" and he pretty much lives by the same phone rules.

Scott really answered his cell phone on your first date? He's lucky you gave him another chance.

More Commandments:

8. Thou shalt not use your cell phone as a personal stereo system without an earset. (The rest of us do not need to endure whatever soundtrack/noise you've decided to set your life's musical to.)

9. Thou shalt not use juvenile ringtones. (Cats meowing, dogs barking, police sirens, any sort of alarm, or -gawdhelpme- the sounds of bodily functions.)


Wil said...

Let's be positive!
Thou shalt always choose a cell phone no larger than you are willing to swallow.

Thou shalt always think of others' needs before engaging in a telephone conversation which others might find disturbing or annoying. Always.

Thou shalt keep your cell phone turned off the vast majority of the time. You aren't so important in the general scheme of things that it must needs be always on.

Anonymous said...

how about thou shalt not text while walking in a crowd. my poor little boy was trampled tonight by an adult focused on texting while walking past us. Did she apologize? No. She didn't even look up or turn around even when he started crying.
I believe cell phones have become a necessity rather than a luxury but at the same time it has facilitated our evolving into an amazingly rude society.
Thank you for your comment about the blog categorizing. I like "life blogger". Thank you for the compliment too.