Friday, May 8, 2009

Emily Post Was Busy, So Instead You Get Me. Now Hush.

Since apparently 70% of Canadians own cellphones, it's refreshing to be a minority for once. White girls don't usually get this vibe. Being cellphoneless in today's world is sort of like admitting you don't know how to read: people are usually all, "How do you live?" and make pitying faces and pat your hand like they just found out you have lupus. Dudes. Chill. Not knowing how to send a text message isn't the same as not knowing how to work a stove. I get by.

Hilariously, Canada is ranked in that rather breathless article up there as "lagging behind other G8 and several developing nations," a fate that apparently gives us the same cellphone owner rate as dirty rotten places like, um, Vietnam. And Mexico. Canada, Vietnam and Mexico - together at last. Sounds like that Seinfeld episode with Babu.

In any case, regardless of our embarassing, developing-nation-like rates of cellphone ownership, people in Toronto (and most other urban places, I'd imagine) are pretty much wired in 24/7. So much so that I feel the need to give a cranky-pants reminder to my constantly beeping compadres out there: yo guy. Knock it off with the phones.

Look, remember back when you were a teenager, and you'd have fights with your parents and the phone would ring right in the middle of the screaming? And you'd all stand there, glowering, panting, and totally unsure if you should answer it when clearly you'd just spent 45 minutes being completely enraged? And the phone just rang and rang, which just added to the tension, but nobody got it, and it went to voicemail? And you kept fighting and eventually worked it all out (or moved out, depending)?

I'm not saying that's still the case. But there's a lesson here: when you're already engaged with something/someone else, fiddling with your phone is a dick move. Everyone does it, sure, but that don't make it right. My personal pet peeve is when people have their phone conversations en masse, instead of being polite and moving to a quieter, separate location. There are others. Multiple texts in a sitting. Irritating ring tones. Plopping the phone down on the table beside me like I'm waiting for a new kidney and I need to be near the phone all the time. Driving while talking. Biking while talking. No. No. No.

So: friends. Countrymen. (Romans? Is that how it goes? Fuck it.) It's awesome that you're all talking to each other, and occasionally to me. Still. Keep the phone it your pocket, turn that mofo to silent, and start treating it like a super-portable landline instead of a mobile talkbox that also has animation and fun games. If you're already talking to someone, say "Excuse me!" when your phone dingles and then step outside. Ain't so hard. It'll be nice. For everyone. Mostly for me. If nothing else, think of me.

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