Tag Archives: Cell Phone Etiquette

“Jaw With John” – The Meal Doesn’t Come With A Side of Mobile Phone

My husband and I are parents of seven adult children, ranging in age from 25 to 34. Recently two of our kids (and one spouse) came home for a visit and we noticed they were never far from their cellphones and even at the kitchen table were on their phones texting or checking their mail.

We consider these times together special and my husband, especially, noticed that they were less “present” when on their phones texting, etc.

This Christmas all kids and spouses are coming home for our reunion. Everyone comes home and these are special times, especially since we now have grandchildren.

The out-of-towners all stay with us.

Our question is about the cellphone use during our celebrations and meal times. When we are together at the Christmas dinner table we wish our kids would put the phones away, except for picture taking.

My husband wants to set some rules during these family gatherings.

I am hesitant to set the stage with rules that might make some of these adults crabby.

What do you think? — Babi

Dear Babi:

These are the times we live in unfortunately. Where someone cannot go 10 minutes without checking their phone (this is especially true in movie theatres, but that’s another ball of wax). I admit, I am guilty of this techno-sin when it comes to mealtime but I am vigilant in my mission to stop such activity completely. At dinner, and other meals at home, I make sure to put my phone far enough away from me like in another room or at the other end of the table so I can be present in the meal and the company I am in. If I am out to dinner with friends or family or on a date I keep my phone in my pocket and don’t bring it out until it’s appropriate.

Ideally you would have all of your guests leave their phones, tablets, gaming devices etc in another room at mealtime but that could mean someone could sneak away and check it. If you were to gather them all up and have them on a table nearby, face down, it would really test their resolve. They would hear the phones vibrating on the table but not know whose phone was buzzing. It’d be like a murder mystery that you don’t want to solve because it would disrupt the meal. I have been on dinners with friends (not a bunch of people mind you) where the first person to bring out their phone had to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the table. You could do something similar, except make the punishment cleaning up instead of buying drinks.

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“Jaw With John” – John’s Guide To Movie Watching

The other day I saw a great movie. But the lady behind me kept talking to her husband during the film. It was distracting when she would ask her husband what was going on and talk through emotional scenes.

I was appalled by this because I am only 18, and I would expect that an adult over twice my age could sit quietly for two hours and know proper movie etiquette.

Could you please write a list of rules concerning proper movie-viewing etiquette for those people who have never been told how to act in a movie theater? — Annoyed

Dear Annoyed:

This is my biggest pet peeve of all time. I love going to the movies. I cherish it. I had always been taught to sit quietly in my seat and watch the movie. The theatre is not my living room. I am not allowed to talk over the movie and misbehave in any way. That’s the way I always saw a movie and it’s how I still see them today.

And since you asked, here are my 7 rules:

1. Sit down and shut up. You’re allowed to laugh/gasp/cry but no commentary. If you can’t follow what’s happening or got up to go to the bathroom then you lose your right to know what’s happened.
2. Rein in your children. This isn’t daycare. Don’t let your kid run around the theatre, it’s annoying and disruptive. It’s also a part of #1.
3. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. If you can’t go 2+ hours without looking at your phone, texting, or checking email then you don’t deserve to go to a movie theatre. You’re not that important.
4. If you have candy, open it BEFORE the movie starts. No one wants to hear the crinkling of wrappers during a tense or quiet or any scene for that matter.
5. If someone’s in front of you, don’t put your feet on their seat. That’s a no brainer. Most theatres have those bars at the front row where wheelchairs can be parked. That’s where you can put your feet up. It’s also where I prefer to sit.
6. If there’s relatively few people in the theatre, don’t sit directly behind or in front of someone. You have all that space to work with so spread out.
7. Clean up after yourself. I don’t expect you to pick up your popcorn kernels that are on the floor but I do expect you to pick up your popcorn bag/bucket, empty drinks and any other trash you’ve made. It’s called being courteous and it makes the ushers job that much easier.

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“Jaw With John” – I Love Watching You Text People While We Hang Out…

My wife and I disagree on cellphone etiquette.

I do not think it is right to interrupt a conversation to take text messages during a date, at dinner or any time we are talking.

My wife says the opposite, that it is impolite to interrupt her texting to ask a question or for her not to respond to a text immediately, even if we are engaged in a date, dinner or conversation.

Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated. — Admirer in Oregon

Dear Admirer:

Your wife is probably one of those people who leaves her phone on during a movie and when it vibrates with a text, she answers it and ruins the entire experience for everyone, isn’t she? Those people are the worst. They can’t leave their phone alone for 2+hours…

Is your wife a surgeon? Is she in charge of a NASA space mission? Is she the President of a country? If the answer to these questions is “No” then your wife is in the wrong here. Your wife is the one being impolite to you and others by saying that her phone/messages take precedence over the people in front of her. And for her to say that you are being impolite by asking her a question while she is texting is just plain bitch status. Whenever I am out on a date or with friends I am in that moment and look at my phone sparingly. She is being rude and needs to know that her behavior is no longer tolerated.

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