Stayin’ Friendly on the Tellie


Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 12:06 p.m.

They have to be the most practical, yet irritating things ever invented. Coming in all shapes, sizes and colors with features such as mp3 players, text messaging, voice-activated dialing, and Bluetooth, who wouldn’t want one? Once used only for business and emergencies, cell phones are now used for everything and anything.

There seems to be not only this need to always have them, but also to be using them at all times. A typical day is interrupted so many times by the ring tones, beeps and vibrations of our most prized possessions, that perhaps some basic cell phone etiquette should be established.

It would seem pretty basic for private conversations to be conducted in private; that class, work or meetings are not places for updates on the latest Facebook news or gossip, but I guess that isn’t common knowledge. Hence, before beginning anything, we are all asked ever so politely to “please turn off our cell phones.”

It has to be the most annoying thing in the world to run to the bus stop in the rain, get the very last open seat, and have to listen to the sappiest break up ever by a girl you don’t know and then become subject to a grown man’s bellowing guffaws every five seconds as he listens to what appears to be a most amusing story from his buddy.

“Some of the stories I’ve heard being told on the bus are quite amusing,” said Brittany McCants.

As it apparently turns out a surprise to most students on our campus, places where you’re in close proximity to strangers probably isn’t the best location for you to begin divulging your deepest darkest secrets, or hearing what should the next episode of Comedy Central.

Being on the receiving end of a conversation may be even worse. Try talking to someone and being interrupted so many times by “someone’s on the other line, could you hold on a sec?” that you’d think you were speaking with the president. Or better yet, how about listening to the person you’re on the phone with talk to someone else? Last time I checked, that’s just rude! Plus, daytime minutes aren’t free.

Back in the day, interruptions in class were made by the class clown, but oh, how the times have changed. Nowadays, it’s usually a cell phone’s vibrating “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” that no one ever seems to own up to that interrupts lectures. That sound also usually manages to resonate at the front of the room somewhere amidst 300 backpacks just after professors and TAs begin to administer exams. I mean, how hard could it be? Vibrate is not silent.

“It always happens right after they ask us to make sure our phones are off,” said Farah Gulaid. “And when one inevitably rings right after that announcement, the looks on professors’ faces are priceless.”

There’s nothing worse than meeting with advisors or being at a formal ceremony with VIPs like Dr. Telles Irvin or President Bernie Machen when T-Pain’s heartfelt “I’m in Love with a Stripper” resounds through an otherwise silent gala. How do you recover from that? Play it safe; keep it silent.

So out of courtesy to the rest of the world, it’s pretty much back to the basics when it comes to the rules about cell phones. No one wants to hear your business, so use an inside voice when on the phone inside. When you’re out and about, keep convos short and simple for the sake of the person you’re on the phone with, and save long winded sagas and sob stories for the privacy of your bedroom. When out with VIPs make sure the ring tone is appropriate. And just a note to self in all situations, just ‘cause you’ve got roll over minutes doesn’t mean you’ve got to use all of them! Can you hear me now? Good.

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