Cell phones are destroying humanity.
Well, perhaps that’s going too far … they are handy in emergencies that require roadside assistance, your mom, or calling for Chinese take out while stuck in traffic. But that’s about it. For the most part, cell phones have put a seemingly irreparable dent in social etiquette.
Think about it. We’ve all seen it by now … the lady on the bus sitting next to you and talking loudly about her health issues down below as if you were her doctor. The dude who carries on an entire conversation with his frat brothers while paying for groceries. Consider how many coffee shops and businesses have been forced to post signs at their registers stating that they will be happy to assist you once you have ended your phone call. This unacceptable behavior has permanently permeated our culture.
And it’s gotten worse. Cell phones have become the third wheel on dates.
Case in point: Monday night.
It is incredibly rude when you are out to dinner and your date is constantly checking his/her cell phone. It keeps beeping and coming to life mid conversation ruining whatever romantic moment you were having. And the date keeps checking that tiny piece of plastic while you are sitting there looking cute in a quaint Italian bistro in North Beach sitting just inches from the other person … waiting for them to get off the phone!
It’s tragic. You begin to wonder: Is it me? I am really that boring? What else could be that important?
Then they reach for the offending device (again) and apologetically smile at you as if that excuses their behavior! It’s insulting. You should really just get up and leave. It has now become painfully obvious that they are not really paying attention to what you are saying because their eyes keep floating in the direction of the phone. You try not to let it bother you. You try not to notice. But in reality you are steamed. About to throw your drink in their face and walk.
And yes. This really did happen to me. And you know what the truly horrible part is? That person checking their phone constantly … was ME!
I couldn’t control myself! I tried to listen to my date. I tried giving him my undivided attention. I did. But I had a really good excuse…
“I wouldn’t ordinarily be doing this. I really hate that I am that person right now,” I told him. “But … the Sox are in playoffs.”
He nodded and smiled. You just can’t argue with that.
Editor’s note: My behavior became increasingly worse throughout dinner. The only redeeming thing about my actions is that I had warned him beforehand that it was Game Four. I won’t mention growing livid and releasinga string of obscenities at the table after discovering Masterson blew the lead in the eighth. Throwing back my beer and announcing that we are not a team that allows a comeback after being up two games to none. What I will say is that my date is a good sport. He has actually agreed to go out with my again. Amazing!