Think Before You Answer that Call

You are in a restaurant with a friend. Your cell phone rings and you answer. Your friend sits across the table, his or her role suddenly shifting from dinner companion to intruder on your conversation with someone else. Think about it.

I really have to wonder if people do think about the messages they send with their cell phone behavior. Is anyone who calls automatically more important the person you are physically with, the conversation you are having, or what you are doing? What does your switch from what you were doing to the cell call tell the person or people you are with?

The other day I was eating out with my daughters, one is never far from her cell-which is usually abuzz with text messages-and the other is a only-if-I have-to user. Anyway, they were both distracted by a woman sitting across from us who, in mid-conversation with her dinner companion, answered her call phone. She launched into an animated conversation with the caller.

Comments from my daughters included: “that’s so rude!,” “what is the other woman supposed to do while she is on the phone?,” “isn’t her friend important to her?” etc.

I have to wonder if the person on the call had any idea about any of these messages her mid-meal cell call was sending to her friend and the people around her.

Sometimes we communicate a lot by what we say and do, not directly to others, but merely in their presence.