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Are You a Cell Phone Jerk?

Posted By: Randy GageNovember 29, 2010

If you want to be successful, you need to be perceived by others as someone who is deserving of opportunity, and able to handle responsibility.  It doesn’t hurt if they think you are polite, and possess some common sense as well.  And you may be doing something to sabotage all that, simply because of your cell phone.

It doesn’t matter if these are people that you work for, or potential partners who may be interested in doing business with you in the future.  People want to do business with people they like and trust.

Call phones are a great invention.  Good to have around for security, effectiveness and productivity.  If you use them with some common sense.  Which most people don’t.

And when you don’t, you lose respect of people who could promote you, offer you a great opportunity, or become your partner in a future venture.  Yet most people don’t even think about the ramifications.  They get a cell phone, and are instantly glued to it, 24 hours a day, for the rest of their life.  Leave that for the herd.  You’re better than that.

There are some places that cell phones should not be taken under any circumstances.  You must realize that you do not impress anyone with the fact that you have a cell phone.  And you are most certainly not impressing anyone of substance by interrupting your conversation with them to take a call on your cell phone.  Come on people, even the bag boys at the supermarket have cell phones.  It hasn’t been a status symbol for years.

In fact, you can make the argument that the real successful people are the ones who don’t need to carry a cell phone.   They are a lot like keys.  When you’re a dishwasher, becoming restaurant manager, getting the key to the front door is cool to you.  But the people who really are successful – the area supervisor of ten locations, vice presidents, CEO, etc – don’t need to carry keys for any locations.  (Do you think Bill Gates needs a key for Microsoft headquarters, or Richard Branson needs one to get in at Virgin?)  So let’s look at some cell phone etiquette and how the lack of it could be holding you back.

Let’s start with the places you should NEVER even have a cell phone on your person.  Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, birthday parties, and other social events to honor someone.  Having a phone at these events marks you as boorish.

Likewise, when you attend church/temple/synagogue, the ballet, Opera, concerts, plays, and seminars.  Having a phone at any of these marks you as a brain dead moron, totally lacking in any manners or social graces.

Leave your phone at home, or locked up in your car at these events.  If you can afford a cell phone, you can afford a voicemail service or answering machine.  If you have such an important business deal working that you must be able to be reached during the Symphony concert, give the tickets away to someone with the class to appreciate them, and stay at the office waiting for your call.

Now at the places it is appropriate to have a phone with you, there still are manners to follow.  If you’re talking on your phone while you shop, walk along the street and sitting in another public places, remember people are listening to your conversation. So it is really bad manners to be gossiping, talking about others, or discussing sensitive business issues.  Use some discretion.

I’m not sure where people got the idea that it is okay to talk on your phone while you are checking out at a cash register, being seated by a hostess, or checking in at an airline ticket counter.  It’s not.

I was in line at the drug store.  The lady in front of me takes out her phone right before she gets up to the front and dials someone.  “Hi, it’s me.  I’m in line at Walgreen’s.  What are you doing?”  A totally meaningless conversation, which she is having as she got rung up.  She never said a word to the cashier, just threw her money down on the counter when it was time, gathered her change, purchases and left.  This is just totally tacky.  Same thing in restaurants…

If you are the kind of person who takes your phone to a restaurant, at the very least, it should always be set to vibrate.  If you see a call you must take, you should excuse yourself from the table and take the call outside.  For my money, this is still rude as hell.  Can’t you possibly shut the phone off for an hour, and check the messages after lunch?

It’s funny how defensive people get about their phones.  I think it’s part of their inability to critical think.  Once the found out they could be connected 24/7, it never occurred to them that this might not be a good thing.  Then they talk about what would happen if some emergency came up.  Didn’t we get by fine without them for 5,000 years?

I constantly have people tell me, “I can’t believe you don’t have a cell phone.”  They are always surprised when I tell them I have one that works everywhere in the world.  They want to know why I’m not carrying it.  Because my mama raised me right.

So what does your cell phone etiquette say about you?
-RG

96 comments on “Are You a Cell Phone Jerk?”

  1. I get what you are saying- don't mistake it. But I use my cell phone as a safety plan for my kids. If things go wrong at home, they (or the sitter) are supposed to text me. I put it on vibrate most of the time, but ya- I take it with me when I go to the opera, parties, events, work. My kids come first, and this is a way for them to contact me if they need to at the opera. And if that makes me a jerk- I accept the title.

      1. I love it Randy - I am a mom of 4 and I agree with you! What did my mom do when she left us with a babysitter and she and my dad went out - they didn't have cell phones and we all survived! 🙂

        1. I have to side with Friday here. keeping a cell phone on hand at all times is not only a great idea but necessary when you have kids in my opinion. The most recent example is my 13 yo daughter not getting picked up after cheer practice by the person whi was supposed to be there. Without the phone handy on her or mom who knows how long she would have been stranded and waiting? Yes, it has helped numerous times by keeping a phone with us at all times, and no, we don't use it to make a call randomly at the Walgreen's register.

          1. Humans have managed to raise their kids before without cell phones, why should it be different now?

        2. On the we survived before cell phones comments-

          We survived without cars, without computers, without home heating, without warm baths and showers, without audio books, without scented candles, without movies, without books, without blogs, without internet, without running water, without cookers.

          But this does not mean that I want to give up all of those luxuries. It is all about progress. Why not use the wonderful advancements of modern technology.

          It is important to be respectful and when in good company keep the phone off, but other than that it seriously improves our lives having the benefit of phones.

          1. I agree with David;Randy and friends, I don't understand why it bothers you when a total stranger has a conversation near you. Interrupting an interaction to answer the phone, yes, that would be rude. But if the lady in line feels like talking to her friend why shouldn't she? If I'm sitting alone or shopping alone why should I not have a conversation? you would not mind if I was talking to someone who was standing there, why should you mind if I talk to someone who is not standing there? Definitely do not interrupt one conversation for another, but are you really saying that it's rude to answer the phone in public? that you find it offensive that I have a desire to communicate with someone who is not in front of me at the moment? WHY does it bother you so much?

          2. We're talking about cell phones here and how they are being misused. People who use them in movies etc.

            I'm good with everything else.

  2. Of course, Randy-

    The voicemail works fine.....the worst snub in the world is when someone interrupts to take a call in your presence......it can wait.....be in the moment. I was on an airport shuttle bus the other day and all I heard was someones' friggin call nearby. Inconsiderate fools and the texting in the car.......!

  3. I carry my phone with me most of the time but its turned on silent mode about 16 hours a day and I just check it once in a while just to see if somebody has called or send sms.

    And I totally support idea of not carrying phone to social event! Why?

    Because Randy Gage said so 🙂

    1. With respect, but I'd never do anything just because Randy Gage said so. I think he's a great leader and gives great advice, but I would interiorize his suggestions and not follow blindly.

  4. Good one Randy - I've had a mobile (sorry - cell) phone since they were the size of a briefcase but when in company - no matter what company, keep it private! That's what vibrate was invented for!

  5. Well said Randy, I agree totally. I find it hard to believe even at networking events that people have their cell phones on that only interupts the speakers. Down right RUDE in my oppinion.

  6. I must be honest, I bought a Samsung galaxy's a month ago, it is the most unnecessary purchase I made in my life. Seriously, I need no phone where I work.

    But I have not the habit of talking in the food queues, or when I'm at the cinema.

    A very good article I must say, very thought-provoking.

    1. You did good...you put it in the back pack for 3 hours during the hike yesterday. Baby steps....baby steps....and look at all of the outdoor beauty we got to see with no interruptions. Timely post eh Loh 🙂

      1. I had to conserve energy Mr Anderson. You wear me out! 🙂

        Truth is, I dated guys that can't keep their eyes off their cells/ laptops & it used to piss the hell outta me. Now....I just leave them there. And in attending ANY kind of event/ show/ presentation, it's just clueless & rude to have the phone ringing. I also can't stand people who have no sense of being in a public place sharing spaces with others - so having them make exceptional noises while around other people is just annoying. My cell is always with me and it is also always on silent cos I find the ringing on my own cell annoying as well.

        So I totally get it about this post - but it's so cute seeing the rocksta RANT about it like this. LOL!

  7. Great post Randy, always on point mate! For the record, i used to be kinda jerk w my cell, had a habit of texting and posting in social media when i was around others, now I'm doing much better at being present and BEING THERE w the people/person I am with .... Honoring them!

    Thanks to some of my friends for pointing out a 'blind spot' to me nadt hanks Randy for another good one that we all need to read and heed!

    BTW well worth a mention (or an entire post) is texting and driving, something too many of us do (myself included from time to time but getting much better) that is not so much rude but DANGEROUS, people die bc of this! 🙁

    Technology has it pros and cons for sure, we all need to be mindful of all this!

  8. It is hard to leave the phone at home. Now with the iphone it is a camera for events, ipod to listen to Randy while out walking :), emergency contact for when driving, calculator, maps, password holder, dictaphone, books, calendar and a million other functions that are useful throughout the day.

    Plus when we own several companies, especially in startup phase then things can happen very quickly.

    I know it sounds like excuses but I love my Iphone. Useful for everything.

    As you said it is important not to take phone calls when with someone else, this of course makes sense. But talking while being served at a grocery store is fine. It is not like I am wanting a relationship with the people in there. Good to be polite, but there are levels of priority.

    Would I be right in guessing that someone today or yesterday annoyed you with their phone manners? 🙂

    1. Actually I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. One of the other guests across the table from me pulled out his phone and was texting people about four times during the dinner.

      Did he really have four urgent work messages on a holiday. And he doesn't have kids so I guess no one was trying to kidnap them.

      So yes this is a pet peeve of mine. And don't get me started about all the people on the phone in the public bathroom stalls as Jennie mentioned above!

      But my feelings aside, some of this boorish behavior really can sabotage your success. And relationships!

      -RG

      1. Come on Randy, we all know that there is nothing more satisfying than having a phone conversation while having a public pee 😉 LOL

  9. I couldn't agree more, Randy. There is nothing ruder than someone talking on a cellphone while their lunch date/dinner date is gazing about the room trying not to look like a fish out of water.

  10. Absolutely agree! Whether people realize it or not, they have literally become slaves to their cell phones. One of the most common reactions I get from people when they call me on my cell and get my voicemail is, "Dude, you have a cell phone, there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to reach you?"

    My response, "Just because I have a cell phone doesn't mean I am on call 24/7. If it is important, leave a message!"

    Right on!
    Ron

  11. It was a new experience for me, when I stopped answering calls from my cell phone but started only to call back.

    And I only call back, if somebody leaves a voice message.

    This decreased the number of my call 99 %.

    That´s freedom!

    ---

    Today we have a upside down situation:

    Successful people don´t need any cell phones, Emails or text messages.

    Correct, Randy?

    1. I think we shouldn't generalize. I believe the topic is about respect for others, common sense and social intuition. If a relative was in a hospital or sick at home, of course I'd carry a cell phone, and I would set the volume on high so I could hear it ring. Of course those situations would be rare.

      1. Yey, of course, I 100 % agree with you!

        I have not specified it enough, I was only talking about my business calls.

        If my wife or my kids call and I have the phone with me, I take the call immediately.

  12. I couldn't agree with you more Randy... I don't have a cell and really don't want one, but might have to get one if I start traveling a lot again.. the other thing that mystifies me is text messaging.. has there ever been an intelligent text?? I just bought a coffee and broke wind etc... unbelievable... just a racket for phone companies to make more money... what a total waste of time...

    1. If that is the only kind of message you think people share, it's a good thing you don't text. I'm sure people text a variety types of message, for a variety of reasons.

  13. Funny - they were called mobiles now they're called cells, a cell to me is a prison, a place you can't escape - so how you doing with your mobile prison?

  14. Great blog! I nearly got hit the other day by a lady who was talking on the phone while driving. Personally, when i am in public places, I like to be loud on my phone as I use it for a tool to introduce others to my business opportunity. You'd be surprised by all the people who come up and ask me what I do.

  15. -RG,

    All this technology designed to keep us connected has had the opposite effect.

    We now can't hold a conversation with the person across the table.

    I can't wait for the day when I no longer need my cell phone.

    Mahalo
    -DJM

  16. In the grocery line? Please, the cashier deserves recognition also. The phone call could wait until you start the walk to your car. We didn't have cell phones as children and got along fine. In case of an emergency? Gee, let's keep the negative thoughts going.

    Charlene

  17. Common sense is the key. I have friends who frequently call their boyfriends/girlfriends to know what they are doing (a way of control). Some of my friends send and receive text messages at 2:00 am (and did not sleep well). Others answer calls while they are making pee or poop... !!

  18. RG.
    I leave my cell phone in the car in church and in the movies and at weddings, parties and bar mitzvahs.

    What drives me nuts are the people who have a whole conversation in the movie theater during the movie. And the constant texting. Can't you enjoy a couple of hours.

    This is a whole new problem called living in the now, being in the present and enjoy those you are with. Yes I have kept the thing for an emergency call. That is the beauty of cell phones.

    It is scary.
    Thanks
    Jim

  19. Randy,

    please add the doctor's office to your list. I have a strict no phone policy in my office. Not only is it rude and inconsiderate to myself and the staff but to other patients as well.

  20. LOL ... Steve's comment above echoed one of my thoughts exactly.

    Yes, I too have kids ... a small group of them - that I raised primarily as a single mom, so I was the 'go to guy'. I was also a Store Manager for many years ... hence I carried a cell phone most of the time - Hands down the number of phone calls going out never even came close to the number of phone calls coming in! In those times I must admit my cell phone felt more like one of those invisible electronic dog collars that zaps you when you step outside someone else's comfort zone!!!!!!!!! 😉 At one point you kind of need to ask yourself - does this person/company/organization own a bigger piece of me than I wish they did? Hmmmmm.

    I will say that I think the reason that texting has become an obsession is that texts allow communication without having to be too transparent and intimate with someone. I watch many individuals struggle right now between wanting deeper, genuine connection and being afraid to be completely vulnerable, not wanting to be truly 'seen' (or heard) ... in an odd way, I think texting has filled a need in some people's to stay connected in a rather voyeuristic sort of way. Sad.

    K

  21. Thanks for the reminders about cell phone etiquette! You betcha that when I'm speaking to someone, whether in person or on the phone, I let incoming calls go to voicemail. The phone is set on vibrate (and ignored) or turned off during seminars, meetings, church, etc.

    My mobile phone is the only number for my business, so the mobile phone gives me the freedom to conduct my business activities from home or away from home. Otherwise I would be a slave to staying in my office, and that's not conducive to getting out in public to expand my network.

    My mother taught me: you're not obligated to answer your phone, and you're not obligated to answer your front door when someone knocks.

    I carry my iPhone with me everywhere, to be ready to take pictures at appropriate times. Pictures are an essential element of my business.

    Regarding text messages: my team members text me with updates, or requests to talk on weekend days when I'm not logged into my computer. During the workweek I can respond to their messages in the morning (while they're at their full-time employment) and they'll see my reply when they walk out to their cars at lunchtime to turn on their cell phones and dial their MLM business calls.

  22. CONFESSIONS OF A CELL PHONE ADDICT

    Table Of Contents

    Part A
    Chapter 1: Interrupt-driven
    Chapter 2: Swiss Army Phone
    Chapter 3: Ringxiety
    Chapter 4: Phone Neck
    Chapter 5: Stage-phoning
    Chapter 6: DWY (driving while yakking)
    Chapter 7: ICE (in case of emergency)

    Part B
    Chapter 8: Thumb Culture
    Chapter 9: Textually Active
    Chapter 10: Intexticated
    Chapter 11: DWT (driving while texting)

  23. I'm with Randy on this one - its like when you take the trouble to go to a store for something, and the attendant behind the counter (and this was even before cell phones, by the way) gives the priority to the person calling in by phone, and leaves you standing there gob-smacked! RUDE!

  24. Anticipating pre-problems can greatly reduce emergencies. Also, other people's emergencies don't have to become yours. When the phone rings, I notice people experience ringxiety; They feel is urgent and important to answer the call. Phones fill an emotional need: the need to feel needed/important/connected by others. Nowdays the herd creates so much stress in their lives that a cellphone has become a means for escaping and getting distracted to feel temporarily good.

  25. DON"T GET ME STARTED!!!

    Oh yes, I am better than that! Amen, Hallelujah!
    My brother, I'll praise your words from every mountain top or maybe from the top of The Empire State building 🙂 I am with YOU 110%

    Randy, you and I definitely have one thing in common, our mamas' raised us right with mucho RESPECT!

    I need a new phone and I've been dreading and putting it off for too long so tomorrow is my birthday, and I will definitely look into GPS, or an Iphone.

    Silence is Golden,
    ~Leslie

  26. As noted Randy we survived before cell phones.

    Parents were able to keep tabs on their kids before cell phones. Kids were "safe" before cell phones.

    People made money before cell phones, and lots of it, so that kills the "time is money gotta stay connected 24-7" argument.

    J.D. Rockefeller made what would have been a modern day fortune of a quarter of a trillion dollars and he wasn't diddling away on a cell phone every 5 minutes to build his fortune.

    I check my cell phone once a day. Usually I keep it off until 5 or 6 at night. This kills the attachment on contact.

    Kudos for the etiquette check RG 😉

    RB

    1. Reading through the posts here again, I think many are missing the original point Randy makes. There are 2 distinctions that apply to cell phones, as well as any other technological advancement;
      1) They can be used to make our life better and easier.
      2) They can be abused to the point of making you obnoxious to others.
      I know parents kept tabs on their kids before cell phones, but how much easier is that now?? The overall advantages are just too numerous and obvious. But yes, people do need to respect others and limit their use when not urgent. Sorry, but all the arguments about how we got along before cell phones just don't fly. W David C said it best in his post above.

  27. P.S.
    DON"T Drink and Drive.
    DON"T TALK and DRIVE while on your mobile without a headset.

    Talk Safely,

    ~Leslie

  28. Randy,

    Now, this is a timely and wonderful message.

    It seems like you and I were raised with the same education when it comes to cellphones... and I am only 28.

    When I tell people I don't like carrying the phone with me all the time, that I feel somehow liberated when I just leave it at home when I go to the gym, hiking, walking around, going to hang out with family and friends... that when I don't have it with me it makes me feel more PRESENT in conversations and activities I am doing... I see confused heads nodding, pretending they know what I talking about, but their eyes give them away... you can tell the confusion and their thoughts going, 'this guy is weird'...

    and of course I am! You have to be "weird" to think common sense.

    Thanks for a great post
    Nick

  29. The amount of opportunities around us we miss while on the phone seems alarmingly great. Going back to Randy's story, for all we know, a simple nod or a smile, or a spontaneous kind word to the cashier might have turned her into a perfect prospect by the lady on the phone, were she involved in NWM. Not to mention the potential downline which might have sprung from that single act based on awareness. That's my 2 cents.

  30. Hi Randy

    Interesting subject. I'm amazed at the number of times I've had people encourage me to pick up an incoming call on my mobile when I've been talking to them. I always say: "that's what message bank is for". A lot of people have come to expect that mobiles just interrupt your life. I don't agree. And as for the ballet, the State Theatre in Melbourne doesn't have any reception inside. No doubt that's very deliberate. And it's nice too, to enjoy a show without something ringing or beeping.

  31. Okay, so I just had to check in one last time here today to share that while I was out a while ago running some errands, the Salvation Army Santa ... yes even Santa ... was out in front of a store ringing his donation bell ... all the while talking on a cell phone.

    Couldn't even acknowledge the kids and parents who were tossing money into the pot.

    What kind of disinterest and disrespect does this model? Unbelievable.

  32. Guys, who cares.. really, who cares. Were you bored when you wrote this article Randy or is it time to look inward and find where the problem really stems from.
    And if you're that pissed off about it then you had better get used to it really quickly. Sounds to me like someone might be getting old and set in their ways. 🙂
    Oh, and about sabotaging friendships and success... nice try but no, this whole article seems way too emotional to even go there.

    1. Actually there are some things I do want to be set in my ways, and principles are one of them. And the principles of courtesy and respect for others fit this category.

      -RG

      1. Principles, expecting courtesy and respect from others I get. There will always be those who don't get it, or should I say don't even know that what they're doing bugs you. Like the woman you mention in the check-out line. In her opinion it is really ok to call a friend at the check-out and I would bet she didn't expect to bother you by doing so. Mindless as it may seem, it's her business. Now if her actions hurt others then fine, but making a call? We then must accept that to say its not ok is really only an opinion. Then to get emotional about it really doesn't serve you or them. It only makes for unpleasant energy.

          1. Much as I hate to agree with an Australian during The Ashes, I think Mr Scarcia has a point. Personally I find the rudeness annoying, but different people have different values and I'm not going to let myself get upset about it. If they're not breaking the law or harming anyone it's their choice what they do. However, it's a good post and it may make some people more aware of the fact they are being pretty disrespectful or even downright rude at times.

  33. I've just entered the wonderful world of dating again. It drives me crazy when a man I'm with answers the phone every time it rings. Or, even if he leaves the phone on the table on vibrate but looks down at the phone every time he gets a message/text. One nice fella made more eye contact with his phone than with me!

    Sorry, but I need to be a little bit more the center of your attention than that! We are in a relationship with whoever we are engaged with in each moment...you can either be with me, or with someone on the other end of the phone.

    Also, I work in small retail, in an indie bookstore with a no phone policy...for customers. I cannot tell you how many times people are on the phone when I'm ringing their purchase...I can't get the information I need from someone who's on the phone! It's just rude.

    1. I agree! Out on a date with someone answering calls, texts, or otherwise distracted by their cell phone is an instant deal breaker.

      1. I will 3rd. this! I have read alot of internet dating sites where the men actually mention this is a turn-off! Well, the feeling is mutual. Want me to know how important you are? When you are with me, be with me, not your entire phonebook! Let's face it....it is already awkward enough for some people to casually meet. Then, throw the constant cell phone in the mix.....disaster!
        Thanks for letting me sneak in this convo!

  34. I am not exactly sure when, as it was quite awhile a go, but I no longer carry my phone with me anywhere.

    I leave it in my car and it is there in case of an emergency.

    I have voice mail and all of my calls go there.

    I figure if it is important they will leave a message.

    I started doing this because I was getting tired of people who continually interrupted conversations to take a meaningless call.

    I did not want to be one of those people 🙂

    Peter

    1. Right on, Peter! I'll try and duplicate you a.s.a.p. After all, it is always a matter of choice, our choice. Cheers, Dimitar

  35. Love it! I've actually been on what I call cell phone rebellion lately. Have one and I know when and how to use it appropriately ... otherwise, If you need me I'll call you!

  36. Great post! I actually do not have a cell phone, at least not one with all the bells & whistles.

    I used to about 6 years ago, then when the contract was up, I got rid of it.

    Now, I use a pre-paid TracFone when I'm traveling out of town or for an emergency. I hardly ever use it, and have to look up the phone # when I need to give it to someone.

    I can not stand it when I'm in the supermarket and I have to listen to somebody's personal conversation when I'm food shopping.

    Just when you think you've 'heard it all', in 2007, I had to fly to Denver for a conference. After landing, I made my way to the ladies restroom and lo and behold the woman in the stall next to me was on her cell phone! I was floored. Seriously, in a public bathroom stall?

    Ugh!

    I have kids, too. My sons are in their mid-20's and survived high school quite nicely without cell phones.

    My daughter will be 10 and you know, there's nowhere that she goes without an adult involved, so no need for a cell phone.

    I've been nearly run off the road at least 5 or 6 times by people either talking or texting while driving on the highway.

    There is nothing that important that can't wait until you get home.

  37. You are not cranky & if so....I must be hormonal, b/c I agree 100%. I love my cell phone. In fact, my grand daughter(age 7) sent me a text this evening. "I love you" which completely & totally melted my heart! But...check outs, really? What has happened to us that we can't converse w/ the person serving us? One kind word could make their day & all they hear are our unimportant convo's.
    When I am in a business plan, my phone is on vibrate & I do not look at it until I am in my car away from the person's view. They are my #1.

    I have to confess, I took it to the symphony last week for GNO, but had no reception so...why?

    I have watched you repeatedly say, "I'm going _________________, I'll call you if I need anything!" This indicates you are out of cell range. Your range which you have disciplined yourself to receive.

    If we are in the middle of change of plans for a meeting, I attempt to excuse myself as not to de-value the person I am with. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

    Tell your mom she did good! All things in moderation. Yes we are an information technology generation, but as you said, principles are timeless.
    Thanks Randy!
    g

  38. Forgot to take my my mobile charger to office.
    Now its out of battery. I cant message, I cant recieve calls. Still peaceful. 🙂 Atlast some peace and quiet. Coming back to trusting existence and believing everything is well and for good.

    1. The joy of letting go is so amazing. I text my friend every hour. Now three hours has passed. She might think what happened. There is no other way to contact her. But still this feeling of trust is fascinating.

  39. What's annoying me A LOT more than cell phone usage is that every time I try and comment here lately I lose the post. Grrrrr now that is annoying!

    Re the cell phone I find that if people are rude with cell phones they are usually rude in other stuff too.

    The thing annoys me more is that 'always answer the home phone syndrome' even during dinner. I find the older generation do that more than the guys who have easy access to a cell.

  40. Well Mr. Gage, you are so right!
    I have had a cellphone for years. I have learned that I received so many calls just before the meeting, event or whatever, that they will be late or can not show up. Even worse that more and more people just sent a message, that they forgot about it or are late or don't show up or forgot another meeting or alike.
    Now, since I shut down the cellphone for the last time noone can call me as I am out of my house or office, everyone show up in time or are at the meeting point; even if we meet in another city, state or country. My businesspartner, customers, friends and even my family got used to it after a while and got back to the point when they needed to make a choice and to be absolutely reliable, as I am also reliable to them.

    Without the cellphone I really enjoy the things I do as I am out off home or office!

    Give it a try! Try it like once a week for the beginning to go out for a walk without the cellphone ... you can enjoy your very own time more and more.

    Have a great day and enjoy life!

  41. I use my phone as my Bible reader in church. I do find it hard not to drift to other features. :-). I don't talk much on the phone at all and I am embarrassed when I have to take the call from the kids at the wrong time.

  42. ...can add only phone must service to me not opposite, than we could be on the way to be RUR - Rational Universal Robot...

    wencel

  43. Randy I agree with you 110%!!! Family and friends ask me all the time Karim how come you don't have your cell phone on you. I explain to them that I don't need to carry my cell phone with me at all times. I have An Administrative assistant and voicemail on my cell phone and home phone.

  44. Not only is talking on a cell phone is unsafe while driving,but when you see people running through stores yapping on a cell phone,working and yapping etc...it is non-productive and annoying to me.I use my cell phone for important communications but have no desire to stay on it all day.How can you get any thing done like this?

  45. Great post, Randy. I couldn't agree more.

    It reminds me of being in an NSA break-out session with about 75 people in Orlando. The presenter spent almost an hour building his presentation, telling a fabulous story, was just about to hit his final punchline, and sure enough a cell phone goes off. The guy answers it, and has a lengthy coversation at full volume. The presenter stopped and 75 people watched as this fellow chatted about his lunch plans. He hung up, made no apologies, and then the presenter carried on, his momentum destroyed. Unbelievable!

    Like most people, I see similar examples to this all the time.

    The reality is that this cell phone insanity isn't going to stop. All we can do is act with courtesy for others and hope that others will do the same.

    I LOVE my tech tools, but your post is a good reminder to use them at the proper times.

  46. I use it as a barometer on dates. I once took someone to a concert...they spent half of the time tweeting about how much fun they were having and the other half on facebook. I did not know they had a good time until I read it on facebook when I got home......no second date.......Someone who answers a phone during dinner (unless they have said beforehand I have a call I may have to take during dinner, which is ok with me) and just talks just to talk.....no second date. Loud public cell phone talkers.....no second date. This damn cell phone may keep me single for a long time. Gosh darn it :-). I have not had one for a week now overseas and I actually feel totally re-charged and re-juvinated. I don't run over and look at it after I use the restroom..or walk in the other room.....sure I love my phone and it is awesome to be able to communicate but there is a time and a place I totally agree.
    Signed....single cuz of cell phones 🙂
    W

  47. Hi Randy,
    I couldn't agree more, I think 99% of people with cell phones are rude and arragant and treat other people like cruddddd. I also feel the same about call waiting services that are available.

    "Cheers"

  48. Randy

    Interesting how so many people say, "I have to keep my phone on because of... (this / that / the other..." I'm not that old and I remember life before mobile phones and we all did just fine!

  49. Great post Randy, it reminds me of one particular occasion on the bus back from the city, back in the day when I was working a "normal" 9-5. The bus was packed, most of the passengers were doing their own thing, you know, reading, doing the crossword etc. There was one person, however, who was having a particularly loud conversation on the mobile phone. A few of the passengers, including myself, started looking around at her and at each other with disapproving looks on our faces. I said something to one of the guys sitting near me along the lines of "we are right within each other's personal space here, the phone call is not a welcome addition to the end of another stressful day". He agreed as did, judging by the looks on their faces, a few of the other passengers. The person on the phone heard us talking about the telephone conversation she was having, asked the person she was talking to to hold for a second and then turned to me and asked me what my problem was.
    I repeated to her what I had said to the other passenger about being within each other's personal space and that to have the telephone conversation on the bus was disrespectful to the people around her. She said to me that I didn't have to listen to her phone call if I didn't want to. It was then that at least three of the other passengers turned to her and told her to shut it. She reluctantly ended the phone call 🙂

  50. AMEN! It's just an ego thing to think you are oh-so-important that you have to take or make a call when with someone else, at an event, or driving your car. Sorry, but no one is THAT important.

    And, as someone else mentioned, generations of parents have raised children just fine without a cell phone. Nice try, but I'm not buyin' it that you need a cell phone to check on your kids.

    But, Randy, something came to my attention last week while I was having lunch with a friend that made me a little -- A VERY LITTLE, but still a little, more sympathetic to SOME people who are glued to their cell phones during the work week: In the middle of our lunch, his phone beeped, and he whipped it out to check --and respond to--a text message. I was very direct and told him that if his text was so urgent, perhaps we should end our lunch and reschedule. He apologized, but said he had no choice. Get this: HIS COMPANY HAS A POLICY THAT ALL EMAILS, TEXT MESSAGES AND PHONE CALLS MUST BE RESPONDED TO WITHIN 30 MINUTES!! If the employee misses that window, then he or she is subject to reprimand, including an unpaid day off work, or some other pay deduction. WTF??!!

    So, although I am not in any way defending such behavior (answering the cell phone at inappropriate times), I do realize that some people work for asshat companies with insane rules. But I would also argue that these companies and stupid rules are the exception, rather than the norm.

  51. Randy! Is your website (blog, etc.) mobile optimized? It would be fun to access your blog while away from home (as long as I ain't being a smart phone jerk).

  52. WOW Randy, I love your view on things and how deep you look into things and discuss the effects of them on our life.
    .
    .
    .
    About the cell phone, I am always complained that why the hell I have cell phone when I rarely answer it. It's on silent 80% of time. Watching people talking on their phones during a social meeting, party and etc IS nerve racking, they just shut you with an excuse and answer their cell phone. . .

    Thanks for reminding, because to be honest, I wasn't being polite all the time, but from now on, I 'll be.

    With King Regards,
    Zeinab

    P.S: I am so glad that I could finally read this post of yours and gonna read those which I haven't.

  53. I totally agree with your sentiments, esp. those about cellphones at social events. I've been working as a waitress at a banquet hall for the last few months, and am surprised (and appalled) to see that everyone, not just phone-happy teens, MUST have their phone out on the table at all times. I guess we need to impress people how important we are?

    And don't even get me started on how rude I think it is to be texting OR taking/making phone calls while at said social events. Whatever happened to conversing amongst one another? Or stepping out the room to make a phone call? (Last night was the kicker: at this one table, not only did the guests arrive late to the wedding reception, they all were on their phones throughout the event, texting, playing games or --shocker -- listening to music.)

    The worst offense, however, was seeing people text at a WAKE two years ago. Seriously. I certainly hope they weren't taking pix of the deceased and posting them on Facebook, either.

    I also despise being on public transportation with a cellphone yakker. The quick call is fine. Having to listen to a 30-minute diatribe en route to work about your job search, ex-roommate, or whatever is bothering you is not the concern of me or your fellow passengers. Shut up and leave the long conversations for times when others don't have to listen to it. (Thank goodness NJ Transit has instituted "quiet cars" on its trains. Buses, unfortunately, can't be helped. )

    For the record: I do use a cellphone to call/text people. But there's a time and a place for both, and I prefer to kee my phone in my purse. "Nuff said.

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  • 96 comments on “Are You a Cell Phone Jerk?”

    1. I get what you are saying- don't mistake it. But I use my cell phone as a safety plan for my kids. If things go wrong at home, they (or the sitter) are supposed to text me. I put it on vibrate most of the time, but ya- I take it with me when I go to the opera, parties, events, work. My kids come first, and this is a way for them to contact me if they need to at the opera. And if that makes me a jerk- I accept the title.

        1. I love it Randy - I am a mom of 4 and I agree with you! What did my mom do when she left us with a babysitter and she and my dad went out - they didn't have cell phones and we all survived! 🙂

          1. I have to side with Friday here. keeping a cell phone on hand at all times is not only a great idea but necessary when you have kids in my opinion. The most recent example is my 13 yo daughter not getting picked up after cheer practice by the person whi was supposed to be there. Without the phone handy on her or mom who knows how long she would have been stranded and waiting? Yes, it has helped numerous times by keeping a phone with us at all times, and no, we don't use it to make a call randomly at the Walgreen's register.

            1. Humans have managed to raise their kids before without cell phones, why should it be different now?

          2. On the we survived before cell phones comments-

            We survived without cars, without computers, without home heating, without warm baths and showers, without audio books, without scented candles, without movies, without books, without blogs, without internet, without running water, without cookers.

            But this does not mean that I want to give up all of those luxuries. It is all about progress. Why not use the wonderful advancements of modern technology.

            It is important to be respectful and when in good company keep the phone off, but other than that it seriously improves our lives having the benefit of phones.

            1. I agree with David;Randy and friends, I don't understand why it bothers you when a total stranger has a conversation near you. Interrupting an interaction to answer the phone, yes, that would be rude. But if the lady in line feels like talking to her friend why shouldn't she? If I'm sitting alone or shopping alone why should I not have a conversation? you would not mind if I was talking to someone who was standing there, why should you mind if I talk to someone who is not standing there? Definitely do not interrupt one conversation for another, but are you really saying that it's rude to answer the phone in public? that you find it offensive that I have a desire to communicate with someone who is not in front of me at the moment? WHY does it bother you so much?

            2. We're talking about cell phones here and how they are being misused. People who use them in movies etc.

              I'm good with everything else.

    2. Of course, Randy-

      The voicemail works fine.....the worst snub in the world is when someone interrupts to take a call in your presence......it can wait.....be in the moment. I was on an airport shuttle bus the other day and all I heard was someones' friggin call nearby. Inconsiderate fools and the texting in the car.......!

    3. I carry my phone with me most of the time but its turned on silent mode about 16 hours a day and I just check it once in a while just to see if somebody has called or send sms.

      And I totally support idea of not carrying phone to social event! Why?

      Because Randy Gage said so 🙂

      1. With respect, but I'd never do anything just because Randy Gage said so. I think he's a great leader and gives great advice, but I would interiorize his suggestions and not follow blindly.

    4. Good one Randy - I've had a mobile (sorry - cell) phone since they were the size of a briefcase but when in company - no matter what company, keep it private! That's what vibrate was invented for!

    5. Well said Randy, I agree totally. I find it hard to believe even at networking events that people have their cell phones on that only interupts the speakers. Down right RUDE in my oppinion.

    6. I must be honest, I bought a Samsung galaxy's a month ago, it is the most unnecessary purchase I made in my life. Seriously, I need no phone where I work.

      But I have not the habit of talking in the food queues, or when I'm at the cinema.

      A very good article I must say, very thought-provoking.

      1. You did good...you put it in the back pack for 3 hours during the hike yesterday. Baby steps....baby steps....and look at all of the outdoor beauty we got to see with no interruptions. Timely post eh Loh 🙂

        1. I had to conserve energy Mr Anderson. You wear me out! 🙂

          Truth is, I dated guys that can't keep their eyes off their cells/ laptops & it used to piss the hell outta me. Now....I just leave them there. And in attending ANY kind of event/ show/ presentation, it's just clueless & rude to have the phone ringing. I also can't stand people who have no sense of being in a public place sharing spaces with others - so having them make exceptional noises while around other people is just annoying. My cell is always with me and it is also always on silent cos I find the ringing on my own cell annoying as well.

          So I totally get it about this post - but it's so cute seeing the rocksta RANT about it like this. LOL!

    7. Great post Randy, always on point mate! For the record, i used to be kinda jerk w my cell, had a habit of texting and posting in social media when i was around others, now I'm doing much better at being present and BEING THERE w the people/person I am with .... Honoring them!

      Thanks to some of my friends for pointing out a 'blind spot' to me nadt hanks Randy for another good one that we all need to read and heed!

      BTW well worth a mention (or an entire post) is texting and driving, something too many of us do (myself included from time to time but getting much better) that is not so much rude but DANGEROUS, people die bc of this! 🙁

      Technology has it pros and cons for sure, we all need to be mindful of all this!

    8. It is hard to leave the phone at home. Now with the iphone it is a camera for events, ipod to listen to Randy while out walking :), emergency contact for when driving, calculator, maps, password holder, dictaphone, books, calendar and a million other functions that are useful throughout the day.

      Plus when we own several companies, especially in startup phase then things can happen very quickly.

      I know it sounds like excuses but I love my Iphone. Useful for everything.

      As you said it is important not to take phone calls when with someone else, this of course makes sense. But talking while being served at a grocery store is fine. It is not like I am wanting a relationship with the people in there. Good to be polite, but there are levels of priority.

      Would I be right in guessing that someone today or yesterday annoyed you with their phone manners? 🙂

      1. Actually I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. One of the other guests across the table from me pulled out his phone and was texting people about four times during the dinner.

        Did he really have four urgent work messages on a holiday. And he doesn't have kids so I guess no one was trying to kidnap them.

        So yes this is a pet peeve of mine. And don't get me started about all the people on the phone in the public bathroom stalls as Jennie mentioned above!

        But my feelings aside, some of this boorish behavior really can sabotage your success. And relationships!

        -RG

        1. Come on Randy, we all know that there is nothing more satisfying than having a phone conversation while having a public pee 😉 LOL

    9. I couldn't agree more, Randy. There is nothing ruder than someone talking on a cellphone while their lunch date/dinner date is gazing about the room trying not to look like a fish out of water.

    10. Absolutely agree! Whether people realize it or not, they have literally become slaves to their cell phones. One of the most common reactions I get from people when they call me on my cell and get my voicemail is, "Dude, you have a cell phone, there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to reach you?"

      My response, "Just because I have a cell phone doesn't mean I am on call 24/7. If it is important, leave a message!"

      Right on!
      Ron

    11. It was a new experience for me, when I stopped answering calls from my cell phone but started only to call back.

      And I only call back, if somebody leaves a voice message.

      This decreased the number of my call 99 %.

      That´s freedom!

      ---

      Today we have a upside down situation:

      Successful people don´t need any cell phones, Emails or text messages.

      Correct, Randy?

      1. I think we shouldn't generalize. I believe the topic is about respect for others, common sense and social intuition. If a relative was in a hospital or sick at home, of course I'd carry a cell phone, and I would set the volume on high so I could hear it ring. Of course those situations would be rare.

        1. Yey, of course, I 100 % agree with you!

          I have not specified it enough, I was only talking about my business calls.

          If my wife or my kids call and I have the phone with me, I take the call immediately.

    12. I couldn't agree with you more Randy... I don't have a cell and really don't want one, but might have to get one if I start traveling a lot again.. the other thing that mystifies me is text messaging.. has there ever been an intelligent text?? I just bought a coffee and broke wind etc... unbelievable... just a racket for phone companies to make more money... what a total waste of time...

      1. If that is the only kind of message you think people share, it's a good thing you don't text. I'm sure people text a variety types of message, for a variety of reasons.

    13. Funny - they were called mobiles now they're called cells, a cell to me is a prison, a place you can't escape - so how you doing with your mobile prison?

    14. Great blog! I nearly got hit the other day by a lady who was talking on the phone while driving. Personally, when i am in public places, I like to be loud on my phone as I use it for a tool to introduce others to my business opportunity. You'd be surprised by all the people who come up and ask me what I do.

    15. -RG,

      All this technology designed to keep us connected has had the opposite effect.

      We now can't hold a conversation with the person across the table.

      I can't wait for the day when I no longer need my cell phone.

      Mahalo
      -DJM

    16. In the grocery line? Please, the cashier deserves recognition also. The phone call could wait until you start the walk to your car. We didn't have cell phones as children and got along fine. In case of an emergency? Gee, let's keep the negative thoughts going.

      Charlene

    17. Common sense is the key. I have friends who frequently call their boyfriends/girlfriends to know what they are doing (a way of control). Some of my friends send and receive text messages at 2:00 am (and did not sleep well). Others answer calls while they are making pee or poop... !!

    18. RG.
      I leave my cell phone in the car in church and in the movies and at weddings, parties and bar mitzvahs.

      What drives me nuts are the people who have a whole conversation in the movie theater during the movie. And the constant texting. Can't you enjoy a couple of hours.

      This is a whole new problem called living in the now, being in the present and enjoy those you are with. Yes I have kept the thing for an emergency call. That is the beauty of cell phones.

      It is scary.
      Thanks
      Jim

    19. Randy,

      please add the doctor's office to your list. I have a strict no phone policy in my office. Not only is it rude and inconsiderate to myself and the staff but to other patients as well.

    20. LOL ... Steve's comment above echoed one of my thoughts exactly.

      Yes, I too have kids ... a small group of them - that I raised primarily as a single mom, so I was the 'go to guy'. I was also a Store Manager for many years ... hence I carried a cell phone most of the time - Hands down the number of phone calls going out never even came close to the number of phone calls coming in! In those times I must admit my cell phone felt more like one of those invisible electronic dog collars that zaps you when you step outside someone else's comfort zone!!!!!!!!! 😉 At one point you kind of need to ask yourself - does this person/company/organization own a bigger piece of me than I wish they did? Hmmmmm.

      I will say that I think the reason that texting has become an obsession is that texts allow communication without having to be too transparent and intimate with someone. I watch many individuals struggle right now between wanting deeper, genuine connection and being afraid to be completely vulnerable, not wanting to be truly 'seen' (or heard) ... in an odd way, I think texting has filled a need in some people's to stay connected in a rather voyeuristic sort of way. Sad.

      K

    21. Thanks for the reminders about cell phone etiquette! You betcha that when I'm speaking to someone, whether in person or on the phone, I let incoming calls go to voicemail. The phone is set on vibrate (and ignored) or turned off during seminars, meetings, church, etc.

      My mobile phone is the only number for my business, so the mobile phone gives me the freedom to conduct my business activities from home or away from home. Otherwise I would be a slave to staying in my office, and that's not conducive to getting out in public to expand my network.

      My mother taught me: you're not obligated to answer your phone, and you're not obligated to answer your front door when someone knocks.

      I carry my iPhone with me everywhere, to be ready to take pictures at appropriate times. Pictures are an essential element of my business.

      Regarding text messages: my team members text me with updates, or requests to talk on weekend days when I'm not logged into my computer. During the workweek I can respond to their messages in the morning (while they're at their full-time employment) and they'll see my reply when they walk out to their cars at lunchtime to turn on their cell phones and dial their MLM business calls.

    22. CONFESSIONS OF A CELL PHONE ADDICT

      Table Of Contents

      Part A
      Chapter 1: Interrupt-driven
      Chapter 2: Swiss Army Phone
      Chapter 3: Ringxiety
      Chapter 4: Phone Neck
      Chapter 5: Stage-phoning
      Chapter 6: DWY (driving while yakking)
      Chapter 7: ICE (in case of emergency)

      Part B
      Chapter 8: Thumb Culture
      Chapter 9: Textually Active
      Chapter 10: Intexticated
      Chapter 11: DWT (driving while texting)

    23. I'm with Randy on this one - its like when you take the trouble to go to a store for something, and the attendant behind the counter (and this was even before cell phones, by the way) gives the priority to the person calling in by phone, and leaves you standing there gob-smacked! RUDE!

    24. Anticipating pre-problems can greatly reduce emergencies. Also, other people's emergencies don't have to become yours. When the phone rings, I notice people experience ringxiety; They feel is urgent and important to answer the call. Phones fill an emotional need: the need to feel needed/important/connected by others. Nowdays the herd creates so much stress in their lives that a cellphone has become a means for escaping and getting distracted to feel temporarily good.

    25. DON"T GET ME STARTED!!!

      Oh yes, I am better than that! Amen, Hallelujah!
      My brother, I'll praise your words from every mountain top or maybe from the top of The Empire State building 🙂 I am with YOU 110%

      Randy, you and I definitely have one thing in common, our mamas' raised us right with mucho RESPECT!

      I need a new phone and I've been dreading and putting it off for too long so tomorrow is my birthday, and I will definitely look into GPS, or an Iphone.

      Silence is Golden,
      ~Leslie

    26. As noted Randy we survived before cell phones.

      Parents were able to keep tabs on their kids before cell phones. Kids were "safe" before cell phones.

      People made money before cell phones, and lots of it, so that kills the "time is money gotta stay connected 24-7" argument.

      J.D. Rockefeller made what would have been a modern day fortune of a quarter of a trillion dollars and he wasn't diddling away on a cell phone every 5 minutes to build his fortune.

      I check my cell phone once a day. Usually I keep it off until 5 or 6 at night. This kills the attachment on contact.

      Kudos for the etiquette check RG 😉

      RB

      1. Reading through the posts here again, I think many are missing the original point Randy makes. There are 2 distinctions that apply to cell phones, as well as any other technological advancement;
        1) They can be used to make our life better and easier.
        2) They can be abused to the point of making you obnoxious to others.
        I know parents kept tabs on their kids before cell phones, but how much easier is that now?? The overall advantages are just too numerous and obvious. But yes, people do need to respect others and limit their use when not urgent. Sorry, but all the arguments about how we got along before cell phones just don't fly. W David C said it best in his post above.

    27. P.S.
      DON"T Drink and Drive.
      DON"T TALK and DRIVE while on your mobile without a headset.

      Talk Safely,

      ~Leslie

    28. Randy,

      Now, this is a timely and wonderful message.

      It seems like you and I were raised with the same education when it comes to cellphones... and I am only 28.

      When I tell people I don't like carrying the phone with me all the time, that I feel somehow liberated when I just leave it at home when I go to the gym, hiking, walking around, going to hang out with family and friends... that when I don't have it with me it makes me feel more PRESENT in conversations and activities I am doing... I see confused heads nodding, pretending they know what I talking about, but their eyes give them away... you can tell the confusion and their thoughts going, 'this guy is weird'...

      and of course I am! You have to be "weird" to think common sense.

      Thanks for a great post
      Nick

    29. The amount of opportunities around us we miss while on the phone seems alarmingly great. Going back to Randy's story, for all we know, a simple nod or a smile, or a spontaneous kind word to the cashier might have turned her into a perfect prospect by the lady on the phone, were she involved in NWM. Not to mention the potential downline which might have sprung from that single act based on awareness. That's my 2 cents.

    30. Hi Randy

      Interesting subject. I'm amazed at the number of times I've had people encourage me to pick up an incoming call on my mobile when I've been talking to them. I always say: "that's what message bank is for". A lot of people have come to expect that mobiles just interrupt your life. I don't agree. And as for the ballet, the State Theatre in Melbourne doesn't have any reception inside. No doubt that's very deliberate. And it's nice too, to enjoy a show without something ringing or beeping.

    31. Okay, so I just had to check in one last time here today to share that while I was out a while ago running some errands, the Salvation Army Santa ... yes even Santa ... was out in front of a store ringing his donation bell ... all the while talking on a cell phone.

      Couldn't even acknowledge the kids and parents who were tossing money into the pot.

      What kind of disinterest and disrespect does this model? Unbelievable.

    32. Guys, who cares.. really, who cares. Were you bored when you wrote this article Randy or is it time to look inward and find where the problem really stems from.
      And if you're that pissed off about it then you had better get used to it really quickly. Sounds to me like someone might be getting old and set in their ways. 🙂
      Oh, and about sabotaging friendships and success... nice try but no, this whole article seems way too emotional to even go there.

      1. Actually there are some things I do want to be set in my ways, and principles are one of them. And the principles of courtesy and respect for others fit this category.

        -RG

        1. Principles, expecting courtesy and respect from others I get. There will always be those who don't get it, or should I say don't even know that what they're doing bugs you. Like the woman you mention in the check-out line. In her opinion it is really ok to call a friend at the check-out and I would bet she didn't expect to bother you by doing so. Mindless as it may seem, it's her business. Now if her actions hurt others then fine, but making a call? We then must accept that to say its not ok is really only an opinion. Then to get emotional about it really doesn't serve you or them. It only makes for unpleasant energy.

            1. Much as I hate to agree with an Australian during The Ashes, I think Mr Scarcia has a point. Personally I find the rudeness annoying, but different people have different values and I'm not going to let myself get upset about it. If they're not breaking the law or harming anyone it's their choice what they do. However, it's a good post and it may make some people more aware of the fact they are being pretty disrespectful or even downright rude at times.

    33. I've just entered the wonderful world of dating again. It drives me crazy when a man I'm with answers the phone every time it rings. Or, even if he leaves the phone on the table on vibrate but looks down at the phone every time he gets a message/text. One nice fella made more eye contact with his phone than with me!

      Sorry, but I need to be a little bit more the center of your attention than that! We are in a relationship with whoever we are engaged with in each moment...you can either be with me, or with someone on the other end of the phone.

      Also, I work in small retail, in an indie bookstore with a no phone policy...for customers. I cannot tell you how many times people are on the phone when I'm ringing their purchase...I can't get the information I need from someone who's on the phone! It's just rude.

      1. I agree! Out on a date with someone answering calls, texts, or otherwise distracted by their cell phone is an instant deal breaker.

        1. I will 3rd. this! I have read alot of internet dating sites where the men actually mention this is a turn-off! Well, the feeling is mutual. Want me to know how important you are? When you are with me, be with me, not your entire phonebook! Let's face it....it is already awkward enough for some people to casually meet. Then, throw the constant cell phone in the mix.....disaster!
          Thanks for letting me sneak in this convo!

    34. I am not exactly sure when, as it was quite awhile a go, but I no longer carry my phone with me anywhere.

      I leave it in my car and it is there in case of an emergency.

      I have voice mail and all of my calls go there.

      I figure if it is important they will leave a message.

      I started doing this because I was getting tired of people who continually interrupted conversations to take a meaningless call.

      I did not want to be one of those people 🙂

      Peter

      1. Right on, Peter! I'll try and duplicate you a.s.a.p. After all, it is always a matter of choice, our choice. Cheers, Dimitar

    35. Love it! I've actually been on what I call cell phone rebellion lately. Have one and I know when and how to use it appropriately ... otherwise, If you need me I'll call you!

    36. Great post! I actually do not have a cell phone, at least not one with all the bells & whistles.

      I used to about 6 years ago, then when the contract was up, I got rid of it.

      Now, I use a pre-paid TracFone when I'm traveling out of town or for an emergency. I hardly ever use it, and have to look up the phone # when I need to give it to someone.

      I can not stand it when I'm in the supermarket and I have to listen to somebody's personal conversation when I'm food shopping.

      Just when you think you've 'heard it all', in 2007, I had to fly to Denver for a conference. After landing, I made my way to the ladies restroom and lo and behold the woman in the stall next to me was on her cell phone! I was floored. Seriously, in a public bathroom stall?

      Ugh!

      I have kids, too. My sons are in their mid-20's and survived high school quite nicely without cell phones.

      My daughter will be 10 and you know, there's nowhere that she goes without an adult involved, so no need for a cell phone.

      I've been nearly run off the road at least 5 or 6 times by people either talking or texting while driving on the highway.

      There is nothing that important that can't wait until you get home.

    37. You are not cranky & if so....I must be hormonal, b/c I agree 100%. I love my cell phone. In fact, my grand daughter(age 7) sent me a text this evening. "I love you" which completely & totally melted my heart! But...check outs, really? What has happened to us that we can't converse w/ the person serving us? One kind word could make their day & all they hear are our unimportant convo's.
      When I am in a business plan, my phone is on vibrate & I do not look at it until I am in my car away from the person's view. They are my #1.

      I have to confess, I took it to the symphony last week for GNO, but had no reception so...why?

      I have watched you repeatedly say, "I'm going _________________, I'll call you if I need anything!" This indicates you are out of cell range. Your range which you have disciplined yourself to receive.

      If we are in the middle of change of plans for a meeting, I attempt to excuse myself as not to de-value the person I am with. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

      Tell your mom she did good! All things in moderation. Yes we are an information technology generation, but as you said, principles are timeless.
      Thanks Randy!
      g

    38. Forgot to take my my mobile charger to office.
      Now its out of battery. I cant message, I cant recieve calls. Still peaceful. 🙂 Atlast some peace and quiet. Coming back to trusting existence and believing everything is well and for good.

      1. The joy of letting go is so amazing. I text my friend every hour. Now three hours has passed. She might think what happened. There is no other way to contact her. But still this feeling of trust is fascinating.

    39. What's annoying me A LOT more than cell phone usage is that every time I try and comment here lately I lose the post. Grrrrr now that is annoying!

      Re the cell phone I find that if people are rude with cell phones they are usually rude in other stuff too.

      The thing annoys me more is that 'always answer the home phone syndrome' even during dinner. I find the older generation do that more than the guys who have easy access to a cell.

    40. Well Mr. Gage, you are so right!
      I have had a cellphone for years. I have learned that I received so many calls just before the meeting, event or whatever, that they will be late or can not show up. Even worse that more and more people just sent a message, that they forgot about it or are late or don't show up or forgot another meeting or alike.
      Now, since I shut down the cellphone for the last time noone can call me as I am out of my house or office, everyone show up in time or are at the meeting point; even if we meet in another city, state or country. My businesspartner, customers, friends and even my family got used to it after a while and got back to the point when they needed to make a choice and to be absolutely reliable, as I am also reliable to them.

      Without the cellphone I really enjoy the things I do as I am out off home or office!

      Give it a try! Try it like once a week for the beginning to go out for a walk without the cellphone ... you can enjoy your very own time more and more.

      Have a great day and enjoy life!

    41. I use my phone as my Bible reader in church. I do find it hard not to drift to other features. :-). I don't talk much on the phone at all and I am embarrassed when I have to take the call from the kids at the wrong time.

    42. ...can add only phone must service to me not opposite, than we could be on the way to be RUR - Rational Universal Robot...

      wencel

    43. Randy I agree with you 110%!!! Family and friends ask me all the time Karim how come you don't have your cell phone on you. I explain to them that I don't need to carry my cell phone with me at all times. I have An Administrative assistant and voicemail on my cell phone and home phone.

    44. Not only is talking on a cell phone is unsafe while driving,but when you see people running through stores yapping on a cell phone,working and yapping etc...it is non-productive and annoying to me.I use my cell phone for important communications but have no desire to stay on it all day.How can you get any thing done like this?

    45. Great post, Randy. I couldn't agree more.

      It reminds me of being in an NSA break-out session with about 75 people in Orlando. The presenter spent almost an hour building his presentation, telling a fabulous story, was just about to hit his final punchline, and sure enough a cell phone goes off. The guy answers it, and has a lengthy coversation at full volume. The presenter stopped and 75 people watched as this fellow chatted about his lunch plans. He hung up, made no apologies, and then the presenter carried on, his momentum destroyed. Unbelievable!

      Like most people, I see similar examples to this all the time.

      The reality is that this cell phone insanity isn't going to stop. All we can do is act with courtesy for others and hope that others will do the same.

      I LOVE my tech tools, but your post is a good reminder to use them at the proper times.

    46. I use it as a barometer on dates. I once took someone to a concert...they spent half of the time tweeting about how much fun they were having and the other half on facebook. I did not know they had a good time until I read it on facebook when I got home......no second date.......Someone who answers a phone during dinner (unless they have said beforehand I have a call I may have to take during dinner, which is ok with me) and just talks just to talk.....no second date. Loud public cell phone talkers.....no second date. This damn cell phone may keep me single for a long time. Gosh darn it :-). I have not had one for a week now overseas and I actually feel totally re-charged and re-juvinated. I don't run over and look at it after I use the restroom..or walk in the other room.....sure I love my phone and it is awesome to be able to communicate but there is a time and a place I totally agree.
      Signed....single cuz of cell phones 🙂
      W

    47. Hi Randy,
      I couldn't agree more, I think 99% of people with cell phones are rude and arragant and treat other people like cruddddd. I also feel the same about call waiting services that are available.

      "Cheers"

    48. Randy

      Interesting how so many people say, "I have to keep my phone on because of... (this / that / the other..." I'm not that old and I remember life before mobile phones and we all did just fine!

    49. Great post Randy, it reminds me of one particular occasion on the bus back from the city, back in the day when I was working a "normal" 9-5. The bus was packed, most of the passengers were doing their own thing, you know, reading, doing the crossword etc. There was one person, however, who was having a particularly loud conversation on the mobile phone. A few of the passengers, including myself, started looking around at her and at each other with disapproving looks on our faces. I said something to one of the guys sitting near me along the lines of "we are right within each other's personal space here, the phone call is not a welcome addition to the end of another stressful day". He agreed as did, judging by the looks on their faces, a few of the other passengers. The person on the phone heard us talking about the telephone conversation she was having, asked the person she was talking to to hold for a second and then turned to me and asked me what my problem was.
      I repeated to her what I had said to the other passenger about being within each other's personal space and that to have the telephone conversation on the bus was disrespectful to the people around her. She said to me that I didn't have to listen to her phone call if I didn't want to. It was then that at least three of the other passengers turned to her and told her to shut it. She reluctantly ended the phone call 🙂

    50. AMEN! It's just an ego thing to think you are oh-so-important that you have to take or make a call when with someone else, at an event, or driving your car. Sorry, but no one is THAT important.

      And, as someone else mentioned, generations of parents have raised children just fine without a cell phone. Nice try, but I'm not buyin' it that you need a cell phone to check on your kids.

      But, Randy, something came to my attention last week while I was having lunch with a friend that made me a little -- A VERY LITTLE, but still a little, more sympathetic to SOME people who are glued to their cell phones during the work week: In the middle of our lunch, his phone beeped, and he whipped it out to check --and respond to--a text message. I was very direct and told him that if his text was so urgent, perhaps we should end our lunch and reschedule. He apologized, but said he had no choice. Get this: HIS COMPANY HAS A POLICY THAT ALL EMAILS, TEXT MESSAGES AND PHONE CALLS MUST BE RESPONDED TO WITHIN 30 MINUTES!! If the employee misses that window, then he or she is subject to reprimand, including an unpaid day off work, or some other pay deduction. WTF??!!

      So, although I am not in any way defending such behavior (answering the cell phone at inappropriate times), I do realize that some people work for asshat companies with insane rules. But I would also argue that these companies and stupid rules are the exception, rather than the norm.

    51. Randy! Is your website (blog, etc.) mobile optimized? It would be fun to access your blog while away from home (as long as I ain't being a smart phone jerk).

    52. WOW Randy, I love your view on things and how deep you look into things and discuss the effects of them on our life.
      .
      .
      .
      About the cell phone, I am always complained that why the hell I have cell phone when I rarely answer it. It's on silent 80% of time. Watching people talking on their phones during a social meeting, party and etc IS nerve racking, they just shut you with an excuse and answer their cell phone. . .

      Thanks for reminding, because to be honest, I wasn't being polite all the time, but from now on, I 'll be.

      With King Regards,
      Zeinab

      P.S: I am so glad that I could finally read this post of yours and gonna read those which I haven't.

    53. I totally agree with your sentiments, esp. those about cellphones at social events. I've been working as a waitress at a banquet hall for the last few months, and am surprised (and appalled) to see that everyone, not just phone-happy teens, MUST have their phone out on the table at all times. I guess we need to impress people how important we are?

      And don't even get me started on how rude I think it is to be texting OR taking/making phone calls while at said social events. Whatever happened to conversing amongst one another? Or stepping out the room to make a phone call? (Last night was the kicker: at this one table, not only did the guests arrive late to the wedding reception, they all were on their phones throughout the event, texting, playing games or --shocker -- listening to music.)

      The worst offense, however, was seeing people text at a WAKE two years ago. Seriously. I certainly hope they weren't taking pix of the deceased and posting them on Facebook, either.

      I also despise being on public transportation with a cellphone yakker. The quick call is fine. Having to listen to a 30-minute diatribe en route to work about your job search, ex-roommate, or whatever is bothering you is not the concern of me or your fellow passengers. Shut up and leave the long conversations for times when others don't have to listen to it. (Thank goodness NJ Transit has instituted "quiet cars" on its trains. Buses, unfortunately, can't be helped. )

      For the record: I do use a cellphone to call/text people. But there's a time and a place for both, and I prefer to kee my phone in my purse. "Nuff said.

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