Were people as rude before cell phones?
I just got back from a trip to the doctor with my mom. We arrived a little early, but with only one elevator working out of three, we had a long wait for the elevator to take us to the top floor. Once we stepped onto the only working car, it was packed. By the time we’d traveled three quarters of the way, everyone but my mom and I got off and a woman, talking on a cell phone, stepped in. But she kept her hand in the doorway so they would not close. She was not waiting for someone, she was trying to keep the doors from closing and severing her cell signal. So, she stood in the doorway, holding this one working elevator in place to finish her personal business. She finished the call just as I was going to say something, and stepped all the way inside the car. But then as the doors started to close, she stopped them again. You see, she wanted to go down not up, and because she was so involved in her conversation, she didn’t notice she’d stepped onto an up elevator.
I called this rude, but a friend of my said it’s just cell phone clueless-ness. Cell phones give people an excuse to be oblivious to the world around them. Sadly, this is not the first episode of self-absorbed cell phone cluelessness I’ve run in to. I’m sure everyone has experienced cell phone slowing on the freeway. This phenomena is characterized by your lane slowing suddenly to twenty miles under the speed limit. You change lanes to get around the problem only to pass an individual talking on his cell phone, silly expression on his/her face, totally oblivious to the fact he/she is still on the freeway and not in their private living room.
I could go on and on, about cell phones in restaurants, loud phone conversations in markets and most annoying of all, texting while driving. (Once, when talking to a friend about this, she said, “But isn’t that illegal?” Yeah, like that matters. Besides there is never a cop around when you need one) Don’t get me wrong, I think cell phones can be a blessing, especially in the case of an emergency. But something inside me screams that private conversations should be just that, private. People should relegate those conversations that command their undivided attention to their living room, kitchen, bedroom, office, etc.
This all leads to the main question, were people this rude/clueless before cell phones? My friend says yes, people have always been rude, cell phones are just a new way to manifest the rudeness. I don’t know about that, but the more I think about, the more I know there must be a story in there somewhere; The Curious Case of the Cell Phone Murders, or The Murderer Sent the Text, or my personal favorite, Texting and Justifiable Homicide.