My family has a rule about using cell phones or playing handheld games at the table. It doesn’t matter if we’re eating at home or in a restaurant. It’s not polite either place.
I don’t think anyone likes being ignored and if someone says they don’t mind, I wouldn’t believe them. People think that just because almost everyone has a cell phone, it’s ok to talk and text anywhere, anytime. No big deal, right?
We were in a restaurant and so many people were either talking on their phones or texting. Nobody seemed to care or get bugged. The table next to us had a mom, dad, and three kids. The kids were playing on a game system, the mom was talking to the dad, but he was texting at the same time. None of them put down their electronics even when the waitress came to take their order. After she left, the dad picked up a newspaper and started reading it while the mom was still talking to him. I guess that was enough to bug her because she told him to put down the paper. It’s funny how she didn’t seem to care that he wasn’t paying attention to her when he was on his phone but when the newspaper was in front of his face, that changed things.
I only have a basic, pay-as-you-go phone which my parents gave me for emergencies when I started middle school last year. Every three months, they refill the units. I don’t use it much because if I run out of minutes before the three months is up, I have to buy more minutes myself. Even though I don’t like that part, it’s taught me how to manage time better.
Mom said when she was in first grade a million years ago, they had a week or so when they learned phone manners. The school had regular desk phones that weren’t plugged in but the kids took turns learning how to answer a call politely, how to ask for their friend if they called their house or how to take a message. I had a friend in elementary school that used to call me and if Mom picked up the phone, he would just say “hi” and nothing else. She knew who he was so the first couple of times, she asked him if he wanted to talk with me. After that, she decided to teach him what he should say. It took him a couple of times but after that, he actually said, “Hi, this is so-and-so. May I speak with Jason?”
Maybe schools or even just parents should teach their own kids about phone manners? It’s not brain surgery. 🙂