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People are rude when they use their cell phones in public. Do we really still need to talk about this? You’d think with over a decade of experience under our belts along with our inherent delusions of hyper sophistication that we’d have figured things out by now.This ridiculous need to be in touch with all people at all times is getting out of hand, and while we think we are staying more connected with each other, we are in fact treating those closest to us like China treated the Mongols. We’re building giant walls people!

1. Talking too loudly. “YES! FOR THE LOVE OF BABY JESUS, WE CAN HEAR YOU NOW!” For some bizarre reason people feel the need to raise their voices while on their phones. I think we’ve come far enough, technologically speaking, to trust the phone’s microphone to adequately amplify and carry your voice.

2. Holding inappropriate conversations in public. No one needs to hear how wasted you were last night, or what color your boyfriend’s boxers were on the night the two of you, um, “played Scrabble.” Keep your personal conversations personal.

3. Rudely interrupting conversations. Have you ever felt the only way to maintain a conversation with the person right in front of you is to give them a call? Ever arrive at the climax of a hilarious story, only to have the momentum ruined by “Sorry, I gotta take this”? It’s very frustrating to stand around waiting while your “friend,” date, or family member gets into a phone conversation on your time. Call them on their other line. “Hey, how’s it going? How’s your sea bass? Isn’t the wine delicious?” If you can’t beat ‘em, call ‘em.

4. Checking your phone at the movies. Movie theater announcements and people who tend to “shhhh” have done a decent job of reducing  cell phone rings over the years. But people are still checking their calls and text messaging friends, silently, but equally annoyingly. There’s a reason why we spend an arm and a leg to watch movies in the theatre. When the lights go out and the screen lights up, we try to forget our everyday troubles and we submerse ourselves into whatever the hell world we bought tickets for. We escape. But when out of the corner of our eyes we see someone’s entire face light up while they check their phone messages, we’re yanked right back to reality and are reminded of how many jerks per square foot there are in the world. Turn your phones off, have a little consideration for the people around you. The world won’t stop spinning if you’re unavailable for 2 hours. “But what if there’s an emergency?” The odds of an actual emergency occurring are astronomical. Besides, if there was an emergency, it already happened. You already weren’t there, and chances are the people who could actually do anything about it, already have.

5. Texting while driving. Somebody please get the “Darwin Awards” on the phone. Of course, if you’re driving when you do, make sure you’re on hands free or have pulled over before you start explaining how there are people who send texts while behind the wheel of a vehicle. I would love to see the tombstone: Was LOL when he WCTTFW (Went crashing through the freaking windshield)

6. Texting while talking. You ever have someone try to listen to your story while text messaging someone else? You want to give them points for making the effort as they clumsily insert “oh yeahs” and “un huhs” at all the wrong moments, cutting you off mid-sentence with a “no way” as they furiously thumb type in your face, but at the same time you want to volleyball spike their phone to the ground for being unbelievably rude. A third option is tell better stories.

7. Loud and annoying ringtones.I was  riding the train to work one morning, when out of nowhere the silence was shattered with screaming. It was the type of scream a frat boy lets out when a serial killer is in the process of gutting him with a fountain pen. I just about had a cardiac arrest and many of the people around me jumped out of their seats. It was only when the repetitive screaming suddenly tripled in volume that we all discovered the culprit: a cell phone. Some jerk pulled the phone out of his pocket, embarrassed at how loud it was, and accidentally dropped it on the  floor.

8. Location… location… location There are countless locations where “taking the call” is inappropriate and extremely annoying to those around you. The first two off the top of my head as the most frustrating are in libraries, and fast food restaurant lines. One of the last places on earth, aside from an empty church or your own bathroom, where people can go to read, think, and study in silence, is under attack by people who refuse to disconnect from the outside world. Does the word SSSSHHHHH mean nothing to you?

Now please hang up that phone. …. pretty please.

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