S.G. Browne

Protocol Police & Cell Phone Criminals

Sometimes I wish there were Protocol Police, Officers of the Social Graces who would fine people for inappropriate behavior and arrest repeat offenders who would have to serve time at an Etiquette Rehabilitation Center.

People who litter.
People who swear in public.
People who don’t say please and thank you.

Honestly, some of these people need to go back to Mom and Dad for a little refresher course in good manners.

I see it all the time. Men and women and teenagers who seem to have no interest in behaving properly. On any given day, I can walk out my front door and witness multiple acts of behavioral disobedience. Of people who seem to think the rules of common courtesy don’t apply to them.

Bicyclists disobeying traffic laws.
Owners failing to clean up after their dog.
Drivers refusing to merge.

If you ask me, the world would be a better place if everyone understood the concept of merging. And if people would learn to clean up their own messes.

Cell phone #1But some of the worst public offenders of social etiquette are people on their cell phones. On their iPhones. On their Blackberries.

Answering their cell phone in a restaurant.
Shouting into their Blackberry on the bus.
Taking out their iPhone during a movie.

Your iPhone’s a flashlight, asshole. A bright, colorful, $300 flashlight.

Turn. It. Off.

The problem is, when using their cell phones, people often don’t bother to pay attention to those who exist around them. To how their actions affect others. To the inappropriateness of their behavior. They exist in a bubble of personal space that excludes anyone else. A cocoon of electronic communication that prevents them from interacting. Plugged into a world of applications and search engines and social networks.

It’s as if by discovering more ways to connect, we’ve lost the ability to interact with the people sitting next to us. It’s as if by improving communication, we’ve lost the ability to relate without the comfort of an electronic leash.

Everyone’s here but not really.
Everyone’s taking up space but someplace else.
Everyone’s connected but disconnected.

Filed under: Just Blogging — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 2:33 pm