Can You Hear Me Now? Put Down the Phone!

Nowadays, many would agree it would be difficult to live without their cell phone, something created to be fast and convenient with the ability to satisfy business or work related matters and entertainment all in one. What more could you ask for? Email, Internet, camera/video and music are just a few applications that come as a standard with most cell phones these days.

“All I need is my iPhone. If I have that, then I’ve got all I really need for school, work, you know, whatever,” said senior Carly Pavelchek. Although we have become so accustomed to using our cell phones for just about everything and anything, has the rapid growth of technology and the advancements on cellular devices caused a negative effect amongst our society? Are cellphones beginning to take over without us even realizing?

I’m sure we’ve all experienced or been a part of those “rude” moments like texting at the dinner table or checking Facebook during class, but the distraction is just too hard to ignore sometimes. The applications for smartphones are endless; workout and diet plans, coupon savers, games, puzzles, organizers, banking and credit card statements, the list goes on.

“Everything is at the tip of your fingers,” said senior Sonya Shah. “How could you not use it all the time, you know?” The medical student uses her cell phone for mostly downloading slides and using interactive applications involving anatomy. “It makes it much easier, that’s for sure. I don’t always have access to a computer, but my phone is always with me. But I guess that’s kinda like a mini computer, so never mind,” laughed Shah.

While the convenience is much appreciated by those who feel that there are never enough hours in a day, many of us have become too glued to our phones. History professor Matthew O’Brien, agreed. “There are two things I consider absolutely rude during my classes: not showing up and using your cell phone. I don’t care what reason it’s for: school, work, or texting about plans for the night. It’s like kids can’t put them down for even a second. It’s ridiculous!”

Using our cell phones to access necessary information during class or for work is a great convenience, but when is enough enough? We’re beginning to be impolite without even realizing or, in contrast, falling victim to and becoming offended by rude situations involving others using their cells.

It’s definitely irritating to be caught in the middle of someone else’s conversation, but isn’t it more irritating when you see people using their phones when you know they really shouldn’t be? For instance: seeing your waiter use their cell phone, off in a corner when you’re out to eat and waiting for a drink refill, or a sales associate checking out your merchandise at a store. This has happened to Pavelchek on multiple occasions.

“You’re being held up when they’re getting paid to work, that doesn’t seem very right. Does it? Quite frankly, that really pisses me off,” Pavelchek shared. So when is it appropriate or inappropriate to use your phone?

“I don’t really think that’s a hard one. Use it on your own time, not during work, or class, or when your out to eat with someone, I mean, you know when you should or shouldn’t be on your phone, c’mon,” Pavelchek answered.

The rapid growth of technological advancements has caused some of us to lose common courtesy when it comes to our cell phones; during class, while we are working, out at restaurants or even while shopping. Although we have been lucky enough to enjoy these accommodating developments, perhaps we have become less aware of our manners and too distracted by other things, or one thing that can do many things, I should say.

From Pinterest, Facebook and PowerPoint slides to emails, graphs and charts, even down to couponing and shopping, we must remember to remain courteous, respectful and time conscious. “To me, it just feels like they’re saying, ‘your time is less important than mine.’ It’s just rude and disrespectful,” added O’Brien.

As time goes on, cell phones will continue to improve; inevitably, most people will become accustomed to the new technology, yet some will not. Regardless, it is important we stay mindful of when it is appropriate and inappropriate to be on our cells.

Be aware and respectful of other people’s time and simply follow the law of common courtesy. Its clear our cell phones shouldn’t come out at work or during class and, as for the remainder, here is some good advice from Shah. “Use your phone on your free time, and if you’re going to be on your phone out in public, then at least have enough decency to use it at times you know you aren’t affecting the people around you.”

Let’s face it, it’s easy to become attached to our cells, but when you know it’s time to put it away, do everyone a favor and just put it away.

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