Hey, he's driving 20MPH under the speed limit, what's his problem?
Oh, he's on his cell phone.
Yikes, she just swerved out into oncoming traffic while looking the wrong direction!!
Oh, she was texting on her blackberry.
What's the problem?: Check out CNN's article, Where are your high-tech manners? Sheesh, I don't know, I'm supposed to be polite AND answer my call? Whoa, I can't multi-task like that.
A lot of the rudeness is laughable. Remember the guy at the movie theater who answered his phone during the film, "Hey dude!...Nothin', just watching a movie." ?!? Was he aware of what an idiot he sounded like? Apparently not, according to Lew Friedland, a communications professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison. These actions are the new norm.
"People act as if they're walking through life in a cone of silence in which only they and the other person on the end of the line can hear them," he says. "They can talk quite loudly, and they can talk about things that people around them don't really want to hear about."
On lifehacker.com, Adam Pash posts a link to InfoWorld's Ten Commandments of cell phone etiquette written by Dan Briody in 2000 (that's 7 years ago, and it's still as apropo as ever). I am seriously thinking about printing this out and surreptitiously sliding it into the bag/briefcase of offenders on the Metro. Not really. But I do wish people would read it and try not to be jerks.
I am totally for the "quiet cars" on trains and banning cell phone usage while you're purchasing at a register. The message that you're giving everyone around you is that the not-present, cyber-person on your device, is much, much more important than the living, breathing, actually there, annoyed, irritated human beings that are right next to you.