There are many places where smartphone use is appropriate and there are those where it is not. And there are a few gray areas too. It's all too common these days to see people at concerts using cell phones to take pictures or to video their favorite bands. I've seen cell phone use during movies, during church, during children's events, during mealtime, and while driving. I almost hate smartphones because of their abuse but when I read a story from Mashable titled, "1 in 10 Americans Use Smartphones During Sex*," I think it's time to setup some rules and draw some boundaries. The survey results conjure a whole new meaning of "bring your own device."
"It seems like the rules of good behavior have been digitized and deleted from our collective memories."
I thought I'd seen and heard it all when it came to cell phone use but I guess that I'm wrong. It seems that people have no manners, boundaries, or sense of self regarding cell phone use.
Now mind you, there are situations when cell phone use is appropriate in certain places but they're the exception, not the rule. For example, a call from your child's babysitter while you're watching a movie is OK, although you should get up and leave the theater to have your conversation.
If you have a Bible App on your phone, like I do, it's convenient to use it during church to follow along—especially since my church finds it unnecessary to supply bibles to the congregation. But I would never text or do anything else during that time. And I think it's OK to use your phone to take pictures or videos during your child's events if you forgot your real camera or if its battery dies on you. Although it should be a backup and not a primary photographic source.
It seems like the rules of good behavior have been digitized and deleted from our collective memories.
But there are places where you should NEVER use a cell phone. Here is a short list of those places.
- Movie theaters
- The shower
- During sex
- During meals
- At Family functions
- While driving
If you're ever in doubt, just don't use your smartphone. Emergencies are the exception, of course. And listening to music while driving, in the shower, or even during sex seems OK to me, but texting, talking, or messing with Apps during any of those times is just a very low class thing to do.
Here are the statistics from the report:
- During sex - 9% of all adults (20% for adults 18-34)
- Movie theater - 35%
- Dinner date - 33%
- Child's function - 32%
- While driving - 55%
- The shower - 12%
- Church - 19%
I think people rely too much on cell phones. If you're using a cell phone instead of interacting with other people, you need to put your phone away or go be with the people you're texting.
A fine example is a family dinner party I went to last night. Everyone sitting around messing with their smartphones, having half conversations interrupted by the buzzing of incoming texts, the tapping of virtual keyboards, muted giggling, and the occasional "Look at this." And one person was actually bold enough to read a book on her iPad. Wow. Just wow.
"Nine percent of all adults have used a cell phone during sex and 20 percent of adults between 18 and 34 have."
I, of course, being "old school," left my cell phone at home, so I sat there just observing the obnoxious behavior, writing this post in my head.
Personally, I think it shows a lack of class, manners, and respect to sit around tapping and swiping at a cell phone during certain events that are really meant for face to face attention and conversations. And to know that nine percent of those surveyed use or have used their cell phones during sex is just appalling. But I can't say I'm surprised.
What did surprise me is cell phone use during a shower. 12% of the respondents had used their phones in the shower. I just have to ask, "Why?" Why would anyone use a cell phone during a shower? If it can't wait, then you need to postpone your shower. What would compel someone to take their cell phone into the shower in the first place?
Seriously, people, cut back on this cell phone madness. It's rude, it's silly, and it's obnoxious. I think that soon someone will create a twelve step program for smartphone-aholics. It's probably long overdue.
It makes me think that we're going to have to legislate where people can and can't use their phones. Many states have already created laws against texting and driving. But I'm beginning to think that cell phone use is more irritating than smoking and I really hate smoking.
Of course, we can't legislate using your cell phones in the privacy of your own home, even during showers or during sex. I'd say that's your personal problem but seriously.
I think cell phone use gives rude, self-centered people an additional way to be rude and self-centered. Using one during social situations is rude because it sends the message—non-verbal, non-text message, that is—that the other people around you just aren't important enough to hold your attention. During more intimate times, it's up to you and your partner to decide.
As for endangering my life by texting, surfing, or talking on your phone while driving, you'd better hope that you don't run into me while doing it. It could be the rudest experience of your cell phone-centric life. Don't risk it.
Until the rules of good behavior and decorum change to fit this new classless paradigm, please holster your cell phones, say "please," "thank you" and use your valuable social time to enjoy the company of other people without distraction. Oh, and don't take your cell phone into the shower, it's just wrong and weird. Stop it.