Monday, May 12, 2014

You’re Doing it Wrong! EPISODE 3: Your Phone is a Private Form of Communication. Don’t Make it my Business.

I’m that guy.  
Yes, I am the guy who stands up and calls you out about it.
I encourage everyone to do it.
I’m not just bringing this up to out myself as some kind of  fist-shaking curmudgeon.  I do it when it’s appropriate.
Just this last Saturday, I attended a University Commencement. It's a huge day for everyone involved. That said, there was a young woman on her phone, ruining the event for everyone in her general proximity. It was a vapid conversation. Clearly she didn’t want to be there. I understand not wanting to be there, sure, that’s perfectly ok. What’s not ok is to bag on the event when everyone around you is trying to support the people that have achieved their goal of getting their degree and closing an entire chapter of their life.  It's a right of passage into adulthood, one of the few we have left in this culture.
So yeah, I stepped in.
“Excuse me, you need to get off your phone.”
She looked at me and gave me an epic eye-roll and kept talking.I'm kind of surprised she didn't flip me off.
And then I got loud.
“If you’re not going to get off your phone, you need to take your conversation outside. You’re being incredibly inconsiderate, what the hell is wrong with you?”
And without missing beat in her conversation, She got up and left the seating area. One of the attendees mouthed the words “thank you”.

The rule here is simple, if your behavior is encroaching on the experience of those around you, then you need to change your behavior. No one is enriched by the experience of being within earshot of you telling the poor bastard on the other end of the line how bored you are. You may feel like you’re showing everyone that you have a life, but in actuality you’re just showing all of us that this life of yours is not well lived.

Here’s a quick tip about your phone, when you’re on it, you’re sending a message to those around you, that they are not as interesting as the person whom your phoning or texting.  If it’s true then you should at least have the courtesy of restricting that opinion to your internal monologue. Unless you openly hate all of us, and in that case feel free to let your asshole flag fly!

Be considerate, and stand up to those that are being discourteous. Someone has to, because these poor fools won't know until you tell them.