Courtesy Matters

I understand that July is officially Cell Phone Courtesy Month. It hasn’t come a minute too soon. Just today I was nearly run off the road by a woman who was on her cell phone, treated to one side of an expletive-laced conversation in the Lowes checkout line, and nearly bumped off the sidewalk by a businessman who was walking and texting at the same time. (I’m just glad he wasn’t chewing gum too or he would have run me over.) Cell phone rudeness is all around us, from the dolts on the plane who refuse to power off when told to do so to the parents at the park who play Angry Birds while their children run amok. My personal pet peeve with cell phone users is being dismissed and subsequently ignored when a person with whom I was conversing gets a call or a text. Dammit, if I’m that unimportant to you, then why were you talking to me in the first place? It turns out that rude cell behavior also irks folks who are on dates. According to a survey by the online dating service Zoosk, the three top irritants among the dating class are having a date who constantly glances at his or her cell phone, sends text messages while with a date, or takes a call during a date. I’ve seen all three of these examples of rudeness many times and have often wondered why the person who was being subjected to the discourtesy didn’t just up and leave. People who are that self-centered seldom make good companions. Don’t get me wrong, my smartphone lets me do business and keep up with things without being tied to an office or a PC. However, as smart as a phone might be, it can’t prevent its user from doing rude and annoying things. I wish there was an app for that.