Etiquette among friends: Why I feel we are we’re losing basic manners

If you were a client at a business meeting, dinner or .. whatever, with a company you were doing business with, would you be highly offended if they kept texting during your meeting, or half-paying attention to what you are saying or what’s going on around them?

I’m pretty sure your answer would be: HELL YES. They are doing business with my money, and they should darn well pay attention and show some respect!

Unless it’s a personal emergency where something happened there isn’t anything all that important that should be texted/tweeted/written about this very second, rather than waiting until you’re alone.

So why do it with friends or family?

Are we supposed to be more tolerant of your rude behaviour when we’re friends or family?

Why would you treat acquaintances or strangers with a lot more respect than the people you love or are there to perhaps form a friendship with?

Is it just because they write your cheques or pay you, that you feel obligated to be more respectful and considerate of them?

It is the utter opposite for me.

I find it extremely rude and annoying when people I am meeting with, whom I haven’t seen for years, or I’ve just met as friends, whip out their crackberries or their iphones and start texting to friends, keeping up an instant messaging repartee with 3 other people while trying to sit down and have dinner with me.

I know I am not the most qualified person to be annoyed by this, seeing as I don’t place a lot of importance on cellphones (I forget to bring it with me about 90% of the time), but it is extremely rude to do so.

I can forgive/understand checking your phone once in a while because it’s really time-sensitive, or you’re waiting for friends to get back from the washroom, so you quickly check your messages.

Or maybe we’re waiting for a third friend to arrive, so we’re checking to see if he/she is just running late and has texted us with their time of arrival.


Think about it this way, if I started pulling out a book to read in the middle of our conversation or I was SO engrossed in my novel that I only give you half answers or my attention half of the time, wouldn’t you feel absolutely slighted and think I was the rudest human being on earth?

It tells you that I’d rather be reading a book than talking to you.

So why is constantly checking or reading a phone instead of talking to people you’re with, any more acceptable?

It’s even worse when you’re out with very social-media-intense people who tweet all the time and facebook like crazy. They’ll start taking pictures and uploading it to twitter RIGHT AWAY, and tweeting about the great dinner and friends they’re with…. while they’re with them.

Why can’t you do it AFTER we’re done meeting? That’s what I would do, because I want to spend actual face-to-face time with you, talking and being together.

Not talking to other people about us meeting up and  being together and how much fun YOU are having!

It’s like talking about your living your life rather than actually living your life in the moment.

Frankly, with those friends who are CONSTANTLY on their phones without being apologetic or aware of it, I just don’t meet up with them again.

If they met up with me and did the constant every-5-minutes cellphone checking/texting thing, I just assume they and their cellphone would rather be together alone, or they’d rather be ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH but with me and talking to me.

I don’t want to meet with people only to be ignored for other people.

In that case, don’t call me and I won’t call you.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.