Well, it’s finally happened. The English have caught up with the rest of the world as far as answering a mobile phone anywhere and everywhere goes.
Research from Dial-a-Phone (also here) shows that people will answer the phone almost anywhere, even during sex! Perhaps the recent performance of English cricketers down under is explained by them hearing the faint sound of their favourite ring tone while at the crease?
This trend of accepting phone calls in the most public of places or the most inappropriate of times is simply a case of technology running faster than standards of common decency and ettiquette can catch up.
A few weeks ago, I had dinner with a business associate who deliberately left his phone in the car. He (or perhaps his wife) had finally had enough. The mobile phone had given him no respite, no chance to say “work is over for the day”. So his new year’s resolution was to either switch the phone off, or leave it at home when he was going out and didn’t want to be disturbed.
Leaving your phone on all the time, or answering it whenever it rings, sends a message to the people you are with. It says that they don’t have (or are not worthy of) your full attention. Are you a medical practitioner? Is your next phone call or TXT going to be a matter of life and death? If it isn’t (like 99% of the population), then just think about who is in charge here – you or your phone?
It will take time (and perhaps the increased use of mobile phone jammers in some venues), but eventually, people will understand and reposition the mobile phone as a device that serves people, rather than the other way around.