Last week I was eating dinner with one of my good friends, having a good conversation and connecting on a significant level. Right in the middle of the conversation my friend whips out his cell phone, glances at the screen, laughs out loud, takes a moment to reply to the text message, and looks at me expectantly.
I was pissed. Whoever is on the phone, no matter who it is, is less important than the person one is with. When it comes down to it, it’s not about the person on the other end of the phone either. This phenomenon is all about a constant need to be connected to everyone one knows at all times.
A few years back Cingular ran a group of commercials starring Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man. This man constantly violated cell phone etiquette, using his phone at the most inappropriate times – in a meeting, on the golf course, on the altar. Lines such as, "It's pronounced 'Areola'" and “You smell like bacon, sir,” still ring in my memory.
Today inconsiderate cell phone use is more prevalent than ever before. With the proliferation of cell phones into our culture, common courtesy has gone downhill. Text messages are the new inconsiderate temptress. Instead of shouting inappropriate conversations in crowded public places, people bust out the phone in the most intimate of settings.
At the time of the commercials a few years ago, cell phones were already common, but nothing compared to now. Everyone these days has a cell phone. My thirteen-year-old sister has a cell phone. Text messaging goes beyond just being connected to everyone you know, it enables you to be able to communicate with them at the touch of a button. This ability causes many people to take advantage of the opportunity at even the most inappropriate times.