It’s out of control …

Actually, we’re out of control.   And if you’re paying attention, as in living life with your eyes wide open, you’ve noticed it too — angryand if you’re not guilty yourself, I’m guessing you’re as fed up as I am.

A few weeks ago I had a meeting.  It was the first time we’d laid eyes on each other.  They called me.  I was with them for an hour.  One of them texted the entire time I was there.  His device never left his hands.  He may have spoken once.  Maybe.  He made eye contact with me twice — when I arrived and again when I left.  That was it.

It took all the discipline I could muster to stop myself from reaching across the table, grabbing the offending item, tossing it on to the floor and jumping all over it.  Just before I sailed out of the room without a backward glance.

Of course I didn’t do it.  That would have been rude.  Just because he has no manners doesn’t mean I had to behave badly.  Tempting as it was.

Then there are all those people who walk down the street texting.  They’re the ones who walk right into you because they’re so intent on staring at those little screens, they’re not paying attention to anything — or anyone — else.  Do they at least apologize?  Surely you jest.  For the most part they just keep on going.  Occasionally they stop and glare at you, like it’s your fault.

I won’t go into all those imbeciles who text while they’re driving.

Been to a restaurant lately?  Same thing.  Nobody’s talking.  Everyone’s checking and sending emails and texts.  No conversation, no communication whatsoever.

Just try to get someone’s attention these days.  No matter where you are.  It’s impossible.  They’re oblivious.  In another world. So much so that if you get fed up calling their name, to no avail, and you decide to reach over and tap them on the arm they actually jump.  Because you’ve startled them.  They’re that engrossed.

And please, do not try to excuse yourself by telling me you’re waiting for an important call or message.  It wasn’t that long ago we had no email or voice mail.  What did we do then?  This may shock some of you, but we waited.  Yes, we had to wait until the person we wanted to hear from, or reach, was available.  And equally shocking, we survived.

Nothing bad happened.  On the contrary, we were successful.  We got promoted.  We got raises.  Our marriages remained intact.  Our friendships were maintained.  Our families still loved us.  It didn’t kill us.  Nothing bad happened.

What has happened to us?  This is a serious addiction we have.  A serious problem.  Not to mention how discourteous, unprofessional and disrespectful it is. I just cannot stand it.  I’ve had it.  Enough’s enough.

Stop behaving like assholes, will ‘ya?

Yes, I’m steamed about it.  Pissed off.  Frustrated beyond the beyond.  It’s rude, for God sake.  So …

The next time I am anywhere — in a meeting, at a conference, out with friends, at a restaurant, at an event, in a store, at someone’s home, having a coffee — whatever — and the individual I’m with behaves this way I am going to leave the room.  No notice, no explanation, no apology.  It matters not who you are.  It won’t matter whether you’re an acquaintance, a friend, an associate, a colleague, a relative, a client or anyone else.  I am just going to get up and walk out.

You know who you are.  Consider yourselves warned.



25 thoughts on “It’s out of control …

  1. I’ve become so acutely aware of this when I’m in public – at the grocery store, just walking down the street. It feels like a dystopian world and a good conspiracy theorist could come up with a sinister plan for world domination. Except that it wouldn’t be covert, just happening because people weren’t paying attention when the overlords starting moving in.

    • It does feel like a dystopian world. It drives me out of my mind. Have you ever seen the mivie, Network? One of these days I will spin totally out of control and I’ll be grabbing mobile devices out of the hands of total stranger and tossing them as far as I can. I see myself reaching inside car windows and walking up and down streets on the alert. I think I need a costume, with a cape.

  2. Yes and the most outrageous thing is you are in a store and they almost run over you while on their phone and give you the dirty look. What the hell is the matter with this narcissistic mindset. No, potentially sociopaths, that is more accurate!

  3. I have this ongoing conversation with my step-daughter. (She’s in her 40s so she’s no kid. She lives in another state so visits us maybe twice a year.) She says she can multi-task. She can’t. Doesn’t remember anything I said. To make matters worse (or more hurtful for me) she doesn’t answer my emails or texts because she’s too busy. Seriously? I have been close to smashing her phone. There is a jammer device. I am seriously tempted. If she lived closer, I would have bought that device years ago.

  4. I’m not one out of control with my phone. In fact, I tend to forget about it for days at a time and never remember to charge it. The only reason I have it is to call for help or to check in with my worry wort husband.

    Recently, we had dinner with one of the girls who grew up with my boys. I had never met her husband or her daughters who are in their teens and early twenties. Her husband is a geek like mine, I figured they would have a lot to talk about. During the entire hour and a half or so, he never once got off his phone. Three times he got up and went outside to talk on his phone. Then he got up and went to the car and sent a text to his wife that he was ready to leave. Not once apology from either one. Her girls were mortified, but hey, it the parents and they are supposed to be mortified, right?

    My husband was downright insulted because the guy was so freaking rude. We have a rule, when we are having dinner out, or with family, NO ONE ANSWERS A PHONE unless it is a child in need or the house is on fire. Anything other than a catastrophic event, birth, or death can wait an hour while we eat. Sad to say, but my family gets up and leaves and the second they are out the door, the phones come out. But the know better around Nana, Mom, Sister, whatever. I loathe cell phones, because people don’t talk any more, they just push buttons and grunt.

    • Agree, agree, agree, agree! You are preaching to the converted. And honestly, I think the a-hole you’ve described raises the bar to a whole new level of rude! Shame on him!!

      • OMG, you did NOT!!!!! I would have been fit to chew nails. That guy is a pig. Not only would I never do that again, I’d never have anything to do with him again. You should blog about that experience. He deserves to be called out. Your story tops ’em all.

  5. The revolution is coming for sure and the clinics for dealing with this new addiction, those that see how to make money out of it. It all started with the Blackberry before the smartphone era, I remember they used to call it the Crackberry. Sitting back watching the tidal wave approaching. 🙂 And looking forward to your post of what happens when you do walk out 🙂

    • Yes, I remember Crackberries as well. But I swear to you I really will walk out and I definitely will write about it. And sadly, I don’t think it will be a long time coming :).

  6. Do it, Fransi! We all need to do it. Our family rule is that cell phones are left at the door, muted, until one is ready to leave. No biggie! There are many advantages to the new technology but this loss of control to which people are succumbing is just crazy.

    • You’re absolutely right Patricia. Letting go of our cell phones for a brief period of time is definitely no biggie. Like I said, we all managed just fine without them for all those years. What is a biggie is the fact that we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from them at all now. And I will do it, Patricia, trust me. I am about to become a 1-woman militia 🙂

    • Doesn’t look like there’s a gig to get Chris. But some day I’m sure our paths will cross again … And then … Watch out!! Good point btw — to ask him what he remembers of our meeting. Ha! Maybe the name of whoever he was texting. And then again…

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