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Cell phone etiquette is still not being followed today

It amazes me how inconsiderate and oblivious people can be when it comes to cell phone etiquette after so many years of use from the small electronic devices. Take for example my recent trip to Maypearl to cover Congressman Joe Barton’s town hall meeting Tuesday night.
I’ve been at the Ennis Daily News for nearly four years, and not once have I ever had to silence my phone during a lunch or meeting, and that is not because I was asked by my bosses to have respect for the officials in charge of the meeting. I simply don’t think it is polite to have “Eye of the Tiger” begin blaring as Mayor Russell Thomas is trying to read the latest ordinance or the Lions Club president attempts to keep some semblance of order prior to the club’s program for that day.
I’m not suggesting phone calls should completely be ignored while at a meeting, but don’t let the audible ring disturb the proceedings. Let the vibrator notify you – and only you – of an incoming call, quietly get up from your chair and exit the room before answering the call. It’s just not that hard to do.
However, some of the Maypearl citizens – and even a city official – hasn’t yet realized how annoying it is to hear your personal ring tone go off while trying to furiously take notes about important things being said from both the residents and the congressman. Is it really so tough to remember to switch your phone to vibrate before the meeting begins? How about when the first person makes an annoyance of themselves with their phone ringing, do you think you would be reminded then? Cell phones aren’t some new invention that everyone is trying to get a handle on. They’ve been around for quite a while now.
Maybe you still are operating the cell phones from the 20th century that don’t have a vibrate setting. Then you just need to turn the device completely off and switch it back on once the meeting is over.
Oh, and by the way, all of this is in regard to texting as well.
While at the 90-minute town hall meeting Tuesday, four cell phones went off, twice from the same lady 30 seconds apart, which likely means she was being told a voicemail message had been left. And these phones aren’t put where they can be quickly silenced. For some reason these specimens of social retardation put their cell phones in the most inconvenient places possible.
The most irritating instance from Tuesday night was the last call. It was the most infuriating because the gentleman who allowed his phone to ring out loud obviously had multiple chances to silence his cell before this point with all the earlier calls being heard. However, the worst part was this man worked for the city of Maypearl and was seated behind Barton at one of the council members seats in City Hall. This is a representative of the organization hosting the congressman and he can’t have the common courtesy to turn his phone off for an hour-and-a-half.
Honestly, even the Barton entourage shouldn’t have their phones on a setting that makes noise. They too can put their mobiles on a vibrating setting.
This column isn’t going to get you to just all of a sudden have social manners when it comes to cell phones, but maybe it will help you remember that the next time your phone interrupts a meeting, the others in the room of a higher class are holding in their screams for you to shut that thing off.
Matt Cook is managing editor at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at editor@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Apr 16 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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