5.18.2011

On the Etiquette of Mobile Phones


Etiquette has been on my mind a lot recently. As you know if you’ve seen my YouTube video on Great Etiquette Books, etiquette is a favorite topic of mine. The reason I felt compelled to do the video (and I hope, many more on the subject) was because that morning when I did my routine walk with Gatsby and the baby, a man who was also walking down the sidewalk belched quite loudly, then looked at me and winked.

I wanted to say back to him “A simple good morning would have sufficed!” but alas it was too early and I wasn’t thinking on my toes yet. So instead I just stood there frozen with shock.

It seems etiquette is a topic on a lot of people’s minds lately, not just mine. Why just this week a woman was ejected off an Amtrak train for speaking loudly on her cell phone in a ‘quiet car’ for a 16 hour journey. I could not help but feel a little justice was served after reading that article.

You all remember my first trip to the manicurist after having the baby. I was so looking forward to relaxing during the spa treatment but instead became privy to the lady next to me who was speaking loudly on her cell phone, revealing all of the gory details about her titillating life.

People are starting to get vocal about it too. Just yesterday I talked to my cousin, who lives in New York, on the phone. While we were talking a man interrupted her conversation and asked her to get off the phone. “Where are you?” I asked her. “I’m on the elliptical at the gym!” she laughed. I had had no idea. I felt slightly guilty being an accomplice to this cell phone faux pas. Oops!

Yes, cell phone etiquette – namely not speaking on the thing in inappropriate public places- is a prevalent issue now. Recently I popped into a new tearoom in Santa Monica called Funnel Mill Rare Coffee and Tea that had a strict no cell phone policy. What a quiet little haven it was! People working on their laptops and speaking in soft tones while classical music was playing. It was so nice to enjoy my cup of tea in silence, read my kindle and not have to listen to a man next to me complain about the price of his self storage unit and his broken muffler.

It is all very good that we regulate our own cell phone etiquette, but how do you tell a good friend that they have a problem? A few years ago I took a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) to tea in the Tudor House Tea Rooms to celebrate her birthday. She put her blackberry on the table and it kept ringing (loudly) several times throughout our tea together. Occasionally she would answer it. I was so stunned by it all I couldn’t even call her out on it (she is an old friend of mine so it would have been quite all right if I did so). I still haven’t brought it up with her but suffice to say- I won’t be taking her to tea any time soon!

After all of these incidents it is safe to say that now I am quite paranoid when talking on my cell phone in public. I generally only do it in wide open spaces while on a walk or inside the comfort of my own home- and of course I never use it while driving anymore (that’s just bananas!) If I am about to get into an elevator, about to pay for a purchase in a shop or am in a room with strangers I simply get off the phone. Not only would it be rude to subject strangers to the intimate details of my daily life but I don’t actually want them to hear it anyway (especially since I've gone on the quest to maintain my air of mystery)...

So there you have it. I would love to know… what is your stance on cell phone etiquette?

Be sure to watch this week's video on My Two Favorite Concealers. You can watch the video by clicking here , looking in the sidebar of this blog, or by visiting: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Also this Thursday look for a special post reviewing a trio of my latest discoveries...


The gold wreath pictured above is Greek and dates back from 300- 100 B.C. The leaves are modeled off of the laurel tree, also known as Apollo's sacred tree. It can be found at the Getty Villa in Malibu.


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21 comments:

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Jennifer! Great post - and I love your videos. Just watched them all on you tube. Where have I been? I've missed so much lately, been so busy I've gotten woefully behind in visits to blog friends!
Your blog is always so well written, I promise to back again soon! Hope all is well with you.
Mimi

Alyssa said...

I have been tired of people revealing the intimate details of their lives lately in general. For example, at school I have been frustrated with couples loudly fighting in the library or as you said fighting with one another on their cellphones. When out to eat or talking with a friend, I usually keep my phone in my purse. I get frustrated when I try to talk to someone and all they do is text.

Chanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chanda said...

The worst is when women hold a conversation on their cell phones in the stall of a public restroom.

LR said...

One time, my friend (who is a realtor) and I went out for supper. I met her at the restaurant and she was 15 minutes late, for starters, then she came waltzing in, yakking on her blackberry. I thought she was supposedly talking to a client and that's why she was late, so I waited patiently for her to finish her phone call at our table for 10 MINUTES. Then I find out she was not talking to an "important client", she talking to a friend of hers, Phyllis!! All the while I was sitting there at the table, waiting for her to finish her call. I was so ticked off that I firmly said "next time, Phyllis will NOT be interrupting our supper" and proceeded to read my menu. Point taken. My friend did not answer her blackberry for the rest of the evening. But it took me speaking up for her to get the point. Needless to say, I haven't been out much with my friend since!! Too frustrating.

steppingmywaytobliss said...

I am completely with you on this one (and I too have recently covered manners/etiquette in my blog series). I do not like loud cell phone talkers, driving cell phone talkers, revealing too much personal garbage cell phone talkers, not turning off phone in restaurants, movie theaters, libraries, etc. cell phone talker/users...should I go on? And I don't like people who text in dark movie theaters. OR people who will text but never answer their cell phone. Oh look, it is 9:30 PM...so sorry but it is time for my Manhattan. xxBliss ;)

steppingmywaytobliss said...

One more thing...I really think that increased cell phone use is directly related to a decrease in common sense among the masses. Just a theory. But what do we really know about the cell waves infiltering our brains? ; )

LR said...

@steppingmywaytobliss -- I agree with your comment about severe cell phone usage decreasing common sense. Many people don't carry on meaningful conversations in person anymore, and society as a whole has become very "dumbed down", unfortunately.

Gina said...

Many years ago, I dated a Japanese business man who consistently took (business) calls during out dinner dates. These were not business emergencies, but rather the day-to-day stuff of the office.

After weeks of this nonsense, I whipped out my book 5 or so minutes into his phone conversation, and then he had the gall to scold me for MY bad manners! Needless to say...

Did you know that the cases of Josie Maran products are made from a biodegradable corn product? It's a double bonus. I recently discovered that the Sephora brand concealer is quite nice as an under eye and all over concealer. I think they are discontinuing or reforumlating as I paid a mere $8.00 for it.

Gina said...

The public bathroom phoners are the worst. It makes me feel very juvenile and prankish, as all I want to do is find "bathroom" sound effects applications and play them at full volume!

Merveilleux said...

This is one of my all time pet peeves! I absolutely cannot stand it when I'm with a friend and they answer their cellphone. It would be one thing if it's an emergency or they were waiting for the call but when it's just someone calling to chat and then they DO chat and leave you sitting there staring at the sky... grates my nerves!!!
My cellphone is always on silent even when I'm at home. I check it on occasion but I refuse to be a slave to it. People need to realize it's okay not to be talking on it at all times. I'm scared for the day when cell phones are allowed on airplanes. Can you even imagine?! You can't escape!
Great post.. I love the etiquette series.

The Closet Therapist said...

I've become more sensitive to this since I know how much it bothers me when other people do it. I also notice how intrusive it is to conversation when the other person is always texting or checking for new messages. Now that I have an iphone, I feel this temptation to check for messages and have to be careful not to be so rude!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jennifer:
How we so agree with all that you write here. We have never, we hope, considered ourselves to be reactionary but, where mobile telephones are concerned, we are getting there. At times we should, if elected to power, or possibly as the result of a coup, ban them from all public places.

What is more, for the most part the conversations which are to be heard in public are so very, very boring.

Lulu said...

I agree with everything you say. I too have been subject to people taking cell phone calls while in the middle of conversation with me. I'm not a huge cell phone user. The only people who have my number are my husband, son and the school in case of emergency. Please leave a message for me at home if you need to get in touch with me. It's a part of life that I don't think I'll ever get use to .

Sandy said...

I couldn't agree more about cell phones. People are incredibly rude. Sad to say I just had an argument with a friend about this issue.

Your videos are delightful. Just purchased Tim Gunn's book. A real treat.

Since it's travel season, could you please do a blog about how to pack your cosmetics, lotions, potions, medicines etc. I travel a lot with many, many little cases but would like a more organized system.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Mimi- Bonjour! How I've missed you! I must visit your site and I am longing to see your online magazine. I have been so busy too I have neglected so many of my blogging friends... thanks for stopping by xo

Alyssa- You are not alone :) While I do a lot of texting (I'm not going to lie) I never do it when in the company of other people... that's so rude xo

Chanda- Ha! Annoying and not very hygienic. xo

LR- So frustrating...Good for you for speaking up! You are braver than I :)

Bliss- I must check out your etiquette series. While watching 500 Days of Summer in the theatre there was a chronic texter in front of me. I had NO problem asking her to stop. The friend I was with was horrified... haha! But that really is so unacceptable. I can't have a movie ruined. xo

Gina- Hopefully the Japanese business man is no longer a character in your life- what manners! So great to know about the Josie Maran products- I like them even more now. Thanks for letting me know about the Sephora brand concealer xo

Merveilleux- They cannot allow cell phone usage on planes. Quelle nightmare! We must do a petition :)

Closet Therapist- I have become very sensitive to it too. I was a bit traumatized after the conversation with my cousin... I don't know why... I think I felt bad for her that she was reprimanded for using the cell phone in the gym... xo

Jane and Lance Hattatt- So true... the conversations one overhears do tend to be a bore. And immediately release any mysterious qualities the offender might have had before the conversation took place! xo

Lulu- I like your philosophy- we could all learn from you xo

Sandy- Thank you! I'm so happy you like the videos. And Thank you for your request... I will either do a video or a blog post on the subject. What a great idea. xo

Pearl said...

Sadly, I have two good friends who ahve the worst phone etiquette--and I do not know how to bring their attention to it. When we go out, they are constantly taking calls, texting, trolling for information on their iPhones... and although I have mentioned it to them, asked them to not do that while we're eating/talking/visiting, they forget and do. Rude! How do I make it stick without simply not going out with them?

Ada said...

Thank you for such a timely post! Sadly, I dealt with a case of poor cell phone etiquette just yesterday. I am a nurse, and I volunteer in a free clinic once a week. Yesterday a patient's phone rang while I was weighing him, and he proceeding to answer it and then talked for five minutes while I waited to take his vitals and do the intake interview! I was too shocked to think of something polite yet pointed to say.

nina said...

Bonjour! This is my first time in the blog. Fabulous!! I fully agree on the cell phone Etiquette subject. I am looking forward to getting better acquainted with the blog. Will read more later on.

Nina

Dion said...

I'm guilty as well! lol I think there's apt time and place for a mobile chat of more than 5 mins and that's not in public where people needs privacy and relaxation. I usually hush hush at these places :D

nina said...

Gina,
I must tell you I pulled the same stunt on my daughter. She fumes at the thought of theSunday Times at the breakfast table. But her BB is a perennial on her hand. So.... you do the Math...

Nina

 
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