Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Color me old fashioned, but I tend to enjoy the people in the room with me when I have the chance to see them. Text and email communication can happen when I’m NOT in the company of other humans.
I remember when all people talked to the people in the room with them rather than staring at their cell phone, all the while ignoring the person in directly front of them.
I remember when you could walk down the street and other people on the sidewalk would smile and nod as you crossed paths. Now, you need to bob and weave to maneuver the sidewalk traffic in the city to avoid those pedestrians who are texting while walking-- and they haven’t a clue where they are walking.
Not long ago, my husband was waiting outside a store where I was shopping in San Francisco. He found a place to sit, on a barricade that blocked a sidewalk continuation under construction. He watched as people walked past, and one man, oblivious to the new blockade, never looked up from his cell phone, and he walked right into the blockade! Yep, we know driving while texting is bad, bad, bad, but the message is not yet out about text-walking, I suppose.
Then there is the text-dining. This exercise entails ignoring the person or people at the table with you while you text like crazy to people who are not at the table with you. Recently, while dining at a fairly nice restaurant in my home town, I noticed a young couple sitting opposite us. The two sat across from each other, and as far as I could tell, didn’t say a word to each other. She looked around the restaurant, stared blankly at the menu, and finally, rolled her eyes as her date looked at his cell phone non-stop, texting continuously. Seriously?
I did wonder what the rather pretty girl was doing with the goof in the baseball cap in the first place, but why she would put up with his ignoring her all evening while he intently texted God-knows-who, I didn’t begin to understand. I was so fascinated with the scene, I snapped a picture of them. I suppose she finally gave up expecting that this guy would pay attention to her, so finally she also pulled out her cell phone and began texting. (I could only guess what she texted to her girlfriends about her deadbeat date!)
Couple in Background--texting diners
One would think that, as I mentioned previously, everyone would realize how dangerous texting while driving could be. After all, taking your eyes off the road for any reason while driving poses a safety risk. Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten that email memo yet. Here in California, it is against the law to use a cell phone manually at all when driving. After phone cell use in general was found to be factor in deadly traffic accidents, the no cell phone while driving law took effect in January, 2009.
The daughter of a good friend actually rear-ended an SUV while texting and driving. The accident put her in the hospital. I have two online friends in my Facebook grief group who have lost children to distracted drivers. What text message could possibly be worth the loss of a child? Enough said. But yet, the urgency of life leads some people to think that the ban on cell phone/texting is unwarranted. Seriously?
On a lighter note, nothing irritates me more than, when I’m having a conversation with someone, the person I'm talking to reaches for a buzzing cell phone. What I'm saying to the person suddenly becomes irrelevant as the person to whom I was speaking stares at the screen. I continue to talk because, I don’t know, I thought were having a conversation! To top it off, the person then begins to text a reply while not even apologizing to me for suddenly ignoring me. Hello?!!! I’m talking here! I’ve obviously been turned off and not a bit of attention is any longer being paid to what I’m saying; and I say lots of important things, I assure you!
Then there is the texting while in a business meeting. I was surprised that some individuals seem to think it’s perfectly okay to text while attending a meeting at work. But here’s one for the record books; I’ve been in a meeting where the CEO and the President of the firm were in attendance, and several people in the room were texting away as the new CEO gave his spiel. How much can you really want to keep your job if you are actually ignoring, not just your boss, but the CEO of your company while he or she is speaking? Can you say unemployment line?
I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m just at an age where I expect that there be some sense of respect shown to people in general; but maybe there should be a little common courtesy exhibited when the guy who signs your paycheck asks for a bit of your precious attention.
This Sign, Posted Outside a Church, Says it All on This Subject!
I guarantee you, in the next week, you will either notice the driver in the car next to yours texting away while driving, or you will be speaking to someone when they suddenly ignore you to answer a cell phone call. I know as sure as I'm typing away here, that you will encounter one or more of the things I've discussed in this article.
If you have something to say on this subject, feel free to sound-off below by leaving a comment.