Shocker: Rude Cell Phone Users Don't Think They're Rude

from the who-me? dept

There have been plenty of surveys about people’s views of what represents acceptable use of cell phones, but very few of them seem to ask users to judge their own behavior by the same standards they use for other people. It’s no surprise why, really — because people are pretty much incapable of doing so. A new survey has found that nearly 90 percent of people encounter annoying cell phone users, but just 8 percent say their own cell phone use is sometimes rude. There are lots of efforts to push proper mobile-phone manners, whether by education or by legislation, but if everybody’s behavior is so good, while at the same time annoying everybody else, who sets the standards?

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Comments on “Shocker: Rude Cell Phone Users Don't Think They're Rude”

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MrCrispy says:

Cell phones are annoying in the first place

Did the survey include whether the annoying cell phone user was using it at an inappropriate time, or if they just encountered annoying people talking on the phone? Or maybe they get annoyed just seeing people on cell phones all the time.

I encounter annoying people everyday. Some are on the phone, and some aren’t.

Andrew Forward (user link) says:

More than just it's possible, it's likely

To put the previous comment into perspective, and to validate that indeed the numbers seem reasonable.

Of 100 people, 90 of which encounter annoying cell phone users. How many cell phone users, who knows because that question was not asked (or at least provided in this synopsis. Of 100 people, 8 of which identify themself as annoying. For the numbers of both studies to hold, you would need to encounter an annoying cell phone user about 1 in 12 times.

Seems normal to me.

I experience about 25 cell phone users a day (i.e. their call is within earshot), and rarely do I get annoyed, let alone annoyed by 2 of those 25 people each and every day.

Wolfger (profile) says:

Re: More than just it's possible, it's likely

And here I thought I was going to be witty and original by suggesting that 8% just gets around…
While it is possible, I can’t really agree with your position that it’s likely. It’s just human nature to think of others as more annoying and yourself as less annoying. It’s been noted time and again by spouse after spouse that few things are more annoying than somebody who act just like you.

Anti_Cell says:

Cell phones are the new "Tail"

The other day in the theatre, after the guy in front of me took his second call, I grabbed the phone, and informed the person on the other end, that Bubbles the Chimp couldn’t talk, because he was getting a beat-down.

In the speaker test room at Fry’s Electronics, I saw a woman with her finger in one ear, talking on a cell…why not just leave the loud room? She’s a monkey.

Guy at a gas station, screaming his drama all over the place, while he pumps. Does he imagine that his voice is sucked into his magical monkey tail? He gets in his vehicle, still screaming, and I swear, he ran OVER a yellow curb on his way off the lot.

Cell phones…the new tail in our devolution.

emceay says:

Sweet, just what life needs, more rules that can be threatened when no one pays attention to them in the dark of night. Eventually cellphone use will be like smoking where you do it outside because even though you paid for it, no one will let you use it, nevermind that you’ve also payed to visit the establishment.

I expect all of this to settle into mobile and non mobile sections of restaurants.

Tim says:

Re: Took his cell phone

At first I was willing to think that the explanations that 8% annoy the 90% were possible. But this line makes me more skeptical. I bet you think snatching someone’s cell phone because they irritated you was “rude” is ok. DOH! It is just as bad and rude as the behavior you are “correcting”. And I bet it is way more likely to get you punched. When I was a teen, this is the kind of thing I’d have done. Probably means I was an immature teen!!

emceay says:

cellphone vigilante

“I grabbed the phone, and informed the person on the other end, that Bubbles the Chimp couldn’t talk, because he was getting a beat-down.”

Sure it’s heroic, but how is this any different from the guy going slow in the fast lane to ‘teach those lead-foots a lesson.’ It always cracks me up to hear stories like that because it sounds like a neurological disorder to violently flip out and take “blue laws” into your own hands over a bundle of plastic someone else wasted money on. The world can’t be made right if you’re wronging the wrong-doers.

txjump says:


using the phone is no different than having the other party right next to you. so use the etiquette that you would use if the other party was right there.

if you are in a library, you wouldnt talk loud. if you were in a doctors office, you wouldnt talk loud. if you were at the gas station you (probably) wouldnt be having an explosive argument. if you were at a cashiers window making a deposit, you wouldnt be interupting the cashier to talk to the other person.

what it boils down to is loudness and attention. if someone is sitting at the table having a quiet conversation be it on the phone or w/ a friend, who cares. and as long as you give your attention to the person who is trying to help you, who cares.

but when you are spreading your buisness all over the world or holding up the line…put the phone down.

m0u5y says:

Phone conversations for some reason end up being much more personal and cut the caller off from reality. You end up ignoring people around you and setting the phonecall as a priority. People are incapapble of being polite most of the time including myself – that’s why I gave decided not to get a cellphone here. I unconciously am loud when talking, yes it’s genetics… so i usually refrain from doing so. If you can’t be quiet, don’t call. And if you’re in an area where you otherwise would be quiet, don’t even dare have that phone on! How did people deal with their business before cellphones?

I wouldn’t pull the phone out of someone’s hands but I would ask them to stop, and if not I would call someone to make them stop. It’s not even about the law, it’s about respect for others. Cellphones should be set in the same category as gas guzzlers; you need to have a legit reason to own and use one of them!

Dave says:

One reason

One reason people talk loudly on cellphones (apart from not caring about anyone around them and so on) is that the cell does not feed their voice back like a landline phone does. This causes them to bring their volume way up to compensate.

What I do is just talk as if the person is sitting next to me, which generally works. Then I only raise my volume if they indicate that they’re having trouble hearing me. This works very well, but I’m realistic and know that either this is too difficult for people to do, or they don’t care that they’re loud in the first place.

Yes, cells in movie theaters are incredibly annoying. I have voted with my feet and rarely ever go anymore.

Mike says:

Rude Cell Users

I work in a small retail location at a local mall and let me tell you about the RUDE idiots that walk into my store. I have people that walk in with their cells attached to their ears, at first I was greeting them like I do for all customers but when I realized they ignored me I’ve stopped talking to them then get an attitude when I walk away from them because I ddidnt want to help them. Or they start asking questions like I know they are addressing me instead of the person on the other end of the phone. I have to ask all the time if they are asking me or the other person. Then there are the people that come in without a cell that genuinely want my help. I’m all for that but when I have to stop my sales pitch or “hang-on” while you have to answer your cell… please. Most of the time I am the only person working and when I have to interupt my work and tell other customers that they will have to wait while you chat on your phone just isnt fair to anyone else.

Raven D says:

Retail World

I for one have held a night job at a gas station, 90% of the customers with cell phones on are talking on them and just order what they want, ignore what you say and walk out as if everything is okay. A cell phone is there for instant communication but in teh end. You wouldn’t be talking on your house phone while a cop was at the door. think before you act is the thing, and if you don’t think yrou annoying,truely think about it.

Amy Alkon (user link) says:

Boors On Cell Phones

The essence of manners is consideration for the feelings of others. When I go into a public place, my cell phone is on vibrate. When my cell phone rings in a public place, I go outside and talk briefly if I really have to take the call. Why? Because I wouldn’t want to bother anyone. What’s amazing to me is how irate people get if you’re forced to remind them to have cell phone manners; ie, to stop shouting about their mundane lives while you’re trying to read the paper or think. Instead of apologizing, many will simply defend their rudeness with some lame bit of underthink like: “It’s a public place.” My response: “Yes it is, which means you share it with other people, and you should be considerate of them.” (The implication, of course, is that you should be considerate by not shoving your loud, dull conversation into their eardrums.”) As I wrote in a piece criticizing cell phones: “Just because you have a self doesn’t mean you should express it.” -Amy Alkon

PS I post the photos and conversations of rude cell phoners on my Web site.

LJ says:

Rude Cell Phone Users

People are rude no matter if there on the cell phone or not. The phone just enhaces the rudeness.

Standing in line at a store and someone is talking on the phone annoys me most! Turn the damn thing off when you go in a store.

I have a cell phone myself, and when go into a public place, I have it off. Nothing is that urgent or important that I need to be glued to it.

Have some common sense. Not sure if people know what kindness is anymore.

T-Bone says:

Cell phone use on public transportation is rude!

I think it is so rude for people to hold loud and disrepectful conversations on public buses. for one, who really wants to hear your conversations. Two, why do you have to be so loud, you can be heard all over the bus. It look like everywhere you look someone is walking and talking, driving and talking, standing in bank lines and talking, in the stores and talking, it just don’t seem to be and end to all the talking. What is so interesting is what do these people have so much to talk about? How long has cell phones been popular? And before the cell phone Hho did these people survive?

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