I think I’m a pretty smart person. Not Einstein/ Steve Jobs smart, more like above average smart (really, not that big of a deal). I also stand by a lot of principles, and sometimes these principles make my life harder cuz I can’t do anything wrong or unethical, but I’m still happy to know at that end of the day I can hold my head high. That’s why I identify myself so much with the Starks on Game of Thrones (KING IN THE NORHT!!) If you are smart and honorable like me, you’re doomed to be annoyed by a lot of things around us in the 21st Century. Aside from the public transport incidents and pathological lateness I mentioned before, texting while someone is talking to you is another behavior that I found despicable.
I wish I could cut myself off from friends who do that, but that means I would have -50 friends on my mental friends list. So I can only rant about it on my blog and hope they will read it. You know who you are!
Returning an important phone call is okay, replying a matter of life and death message is fine, but most of the time I can just tell you’re not really texting something important. It is relatively more acceptable in a group thing that you know you just have to attend but you’re not really in it. The one that I found plainly disrespectful is when I’m just on a one-on-one dinner/coffee chat with a friend. Hello, I know your cousin’s gf really sucks, but I’m here sitting across the table not knowing if you heard anything I said. Can it wait?
Sometimes when my friends do this back and forth, I really feel like a fool. I don’t know if I should continue talking, or just pause until they have time for me. I don’t mean to probe, but the text content can’t be that important because it is filled with emoji smiley faces 😉 You can’t be making a peace with N. Korea, solving food short or tackling global warming using “LOL”, right?
If those are my good friends, I’d tolerate that (not like I have a better choice!). But if those were only new acquaintances or dates, I’m sorry you just lost me forever. I tried to analyze why people do that: Aren’t they happy just talking to me? Am I too much of a bore?
My conclusion is neither. People do that because they like feeling popular. They like coming off as, “Oh I am so popular that I have more friends than I can deal with. See? I am talking to one in person and another just can’t wait to share something cool with me. Oh my god. That joke is so funny. What were you saying by the way?”
If you say, “Why so serious? You guys are just chilling.” You should block my blog right now (if that function even exists). I am such a person of principles. When I take the time out from my schedule to spend it with someone, that means I value him/her and want to make the most of it. My phone is 99% on vibrate and if I do take a call, it won’t last more than a minute. I never text during a conversation. Everything can wait outside office hours, unless you’re Obama or Hu Jintao or Kate Middleton (I’d only cut you some slacks because you have nice clothes.)
I guess the question now is: how do we ask someone not to text/talk on the phone nicely? Looking forward to reading some good one-liners.