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The Vote: “Stop texting, I’m talking to you!”

Is texting whilst talking to other people plain rude?

Published on July 21st 2009.


The Vote: “Stop texting, I’m talking to you!”

A RECENT report has stated that texting while talking to people is a classic example of how society has become more impolite. What do you think?

By texting aren’t you saying that you consider the person you’re talking to, live, at that moment, of less interest than the person you’re texting?

Let's start with a game of have you ever.....

Have you ever sent a text when in the company of someone else? Properly in their company: talking to them, looking in their eyes, all one-to-one like?

And, if you have, would you consider what you were doing rude?

Here’s a scenario. You’re out on a date and the person you’re with is constantly texting. Which of these would you do?

a) Check your own phone to see if anybody else loves you and send a few of your own.

b) Get progressively more annoyed until you confront them about it, or make a swift exit after saying you were going to the toilet?

c) Take their phone and smash it up?

Confidential is split on this.

Probably in a younger versus older way.

Some of the office don’t mind people texting mid-conversation as long as it isn’t constant (and what they’re receiving isn’t in that infuriating sub-language, for example “Wat r u up2 m8!”).

Also the pro-texting lobby thinks if you're with mates, especially a group of mates, then it isn’t a problem. Everybody else is doing it: and you

don't want to miss out on something happening somewhere that you could all enjoy.

Others in Confidential hate the notion. After all, by doing so aren’t you saying that the person on the end of the phone is way more entertaining, captivating and important than poor second class you.

The worst part of this is that you know nine times out of ten what’s being communicated is banal. Perhaps the only exception to the no texting rule should be over a matter of vital importance - maybe you’re waiting for news of your partner going into labour, or about to close the deal of the century. Even here you should pre-warn people with a polite, “May I leave my phone on, as I’m expecting a very important message.”

And what about those people who call work meetings and then spend the whole time texting or Blackberrying? Or those people who text during plays, in the quiet moments? Suddenly in the darkened auditorium a phone screen blinks to life.

Is this a generational issue, an example of the quickfire technological world of the 21st century creating a new dynamic in human interaction?

Or is texting while talking just plain rude?

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Ettie KetteJuly 21st 2009.

Discreet 'texting' is OK in intimate company. The height of rudeness is talking on a mobile phone in front of other people, particularly shop staff serving you so they can't really tell you what they think of you, punch you repeatedly in the face and walk off like the rest of us can (and will).-----Gormless chumps using their mobile phones as they cross the road are ASKING for a quick flying lesson courtesy of an offended passing motorist.

Bob BerofsevilleJuly 21st 2009.

Texting in theatres and concert halls is deserving of a good kicking. Last time I was at an opera in the Empire, three pudgy louts of the type that pass for sixth-formers these days were playing with their illuminated phones mid-performance. As the bearded creature on the end of their row (presumably the teacher in charge of these loathsome imbeciles) did nothing I had to make the pampered bedwetters stop it myself.

PoochfaceJuly 21st 2009.

I loathe it when people text during a film. Why go to the cinema to spend all your time looking at your mobile phone! I must admit that I have checked my text when with friends but I always apologise, generally share the contents of the text and reply quickly. It isn't something I would do constantly. That is the height of rudeness.

Dirty Qwerty from number thirtyJuly 21st 2009.

I really don’t mind people sending texts in my company as 9 times out of 10 I don’t want them talking to me in the first place. At least a mobile text is less obtrusive than when the theatres used to be full of people with portable typewriters clattering and dinging away – and then them asking you for a stamp and pushing passed everybody along the row to nip out and post it. When I was very young and typewriters were just too expensive for the masses, people had to use semaphore flags. Now that really was obtrusive and my mother regularly had her extra large theatre hat knocked off her head by some flag-waving idiot. I’ll say one thing though; if it was a hot evening they gave you a lovely fanned breeze. We really should consider the benefits of texts. If you have ever been on a bus when all the kids get on from school – you know when they see another pupil on the pavement and walk on you to bang on the window and scream at them “ Chesney ya f****ing K***head!” now they can text it to Chesney instead. Of course they will still walk on you to see his reaction upon reading it and then bang on the window and scream his name so he looks up while they all gob on him. A text message of G.O.Y (gobbed on you) doesn’t have the same impact, so that tradition at least will remain. I think I can definitely live with the text-set people, all my real hatred and bitterness was used up by that group in the 80s who walked around with 5 inch thick filofax with some of them insisting on showing you the collection of useless and unnecessary sh*te it contained that suddenly they couldn’t live without. You all know who you are!

DigJuly 21st 2009.

Unless the text is an important communique a simply 'I'm busy, I'll text you later' would be the concise, none offensive way to deal with texts in company. As for texting in the cinema, theatre etc, the phone should be switched off on arrival. If somebody can't go 2 hours without sending or reading a text then they have a problem.

text maniacJuly 21st 2009.

It is a sign of the times. We live in a culture where social transparency is paramount. The intimacy of the phone call is dead - mobile phones have killed that.Only texting can be done intimately between 2 people without worrying about the fat legged typists on the train listening in.

Fat Legged TypistJuly 21st 2009.

Aye de ya mind? Me legs aren't fat, I'm just big-boned yer cheeky get

MISSYBJuly 21st 2009.

Dig, I think you know a few people with that very problem. Put the phone down, turn it off or leave it at home. Your with company there is no need to text someone even if it is to tell your friends how boring my company is. Doesn't offend me just annoys me espically when there is just the two of you. If am not entertaining enough I'll go home and you can spend a quiet evening with your bloody phone !

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