Cell phone pet peeves

Elevator Cell PhoneDo you have a cell phone pet peeve? Are there things that people do with their cell phones that drive you crazy? If so, you’re not alone. Most people are bothered by the rude cell phone behavior of others.

You may be happy to know that July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, something that was created by my friend and etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore. I’ve written about polite cell phone habits before, so I thought this time I’d ask the Clise Etiquette Facebook Likes what cell phone behavior most annoys them. I got quite a list.

Starting with the pet peeve that most people agreed with – Talking while on the bus.  This is what the Clise Etiquette fan wrote, “I find it incredibly annoying when people talk on their phones on the bus–or really anywhere I’m forced to hear half of their conversation. If you can’t get 10 feet away from other people, talk later!”

I agree this is really annoying. The reason it’s so irritating is when you only hear half of a conversation there is no regular pattern to it unlike listening to a dialogue or even a monologue. Therefore, it’s hard to ignore the halfalogue, as it’s called. Turn your phone off and wait until you get off the bus. It won’t kill you. I promise.

Talking while in line at the grocery store. Just don’t.

Taking your phone out and placing it on the table when you sit down with someone. As my fan stated, “Like at any moment something more important than our conversation is going to come up. It’s the attachment some have to the technology that gets to me. Why can’t we just be more connected on a human level, you know.” Amen!

Not powering down your phone when the flight attendant instructs you to do so. This is what my fan wrote, “Apparently your call/email/text/mobile porn addiction is more important than the rest of us arriving at our destination on time.” Enough said.

Talking on the phone while in a public restroom. Yuck, agreed!! I would add using the phone while in ANY restroom. No one wants to hear you or others going potty. (Sorry, we have a new puppy and that’s the word that came to me.)

My friend and colleague Beth Buelow with the Introvert Entrepreneur said it annoys her when people use their phone obsessively. She wrote, “More and more, people are walking down the street, waiting in line, walking the dog, riding the car with someone else, and they have their eyes (or ear!) glued to the screen. I can be guilty of all of those things, but I’m noticing that besides sometimes being dangerous, it’s also keeping me from being fully present and in the moment. I don’t smile at people I walk by, I miss connecting with my dog, I’m probably annoying other people, etc.”

That’s the thing about our attachment to our phones and other digital tools; it keeps us from connecting with others. We miss out on the little things in life that make our lives rich, like acknowledging a stranger, being present with our kids or pets, seeing the lovely flowers in our neighbor’s yards, etc.

What are your cell phone pet peeves? What do you wish people would stop doing? Are you guilty of any of the above offenses?


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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

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