Posts tagged with: cell phones

Call Me Any Time

Seriously.  Any.  Time.


Okay, truth time.

I’ve never been all that much of a phone talker. Even as a child, I called, I got the information I was after, and I hung up. No sitting on the phone for hours. I’m still that way.

phone 2 etsyWhen I was a little girl, we had one phone in the house. It looked like this phone on the left.

Our phone was on a party line.

For you who don’t know, that means several homes in the community would share one line.

I remember waiting for hours to call my grandmother. Waiting for the teenagers to get tired of “talking” which wasn’t really talking at all.  It basically meant sitting on the line, saying a word or two, then breathing fo r the next ten minutes, all the while tying up the line so nobody could call.

I didn’t have the nerve to ask them to give up the line.

And of course, the most interesting thing about a party line was that anybody could listen in. Most of the time you could hear the obvious clicking and clunking when someone picked up. But not always.

The polite thing to do was to pick up, and if you heard people on the line, hang right back up again.  But not everyone did that.

Usually, you knew when someone was eavesdropping. Other times, there was no telltale.  So if you didn’t want it phone shhhhhknown, you didn’t talk about it on the phone.

Fast Forward to private lines. I was a teenager by the time my family got one, and it was a big deal. I could talk without being overheard, and I could call any time I wanted, unless the phone was in use.

Then came call waiting. I’d moved away from home by then, but I had trouble with call waiting. I didn’t want to be informed that somebody else was trying to call me while I was talking.  I still don’t.

Fast forward again to the 1990s. Now the phone could be taken in a car, or carried in a purse. A few incarnations later  you could walk down the street while you talked to someone half way around the world.

And even then, nobody dreamed of texting.

Flash forward to now.

I can read a book on my phone. I can listen to music. I can play games, check email, or post to facebook.   Duchess Jeanne or Bandita Nancy can send me pictures of their trip to the Okefenokee Swamp. (As an aside, they did this, and I was overcome with jealousy instantaneously, instead of having to wait to be jealous once I got home to my email.)

I was talking with Dianna Love yesterday evening, and she told me this is “National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.”


What, exactly, is “courteous” when it comes to cell phone usage?

Since I hate talking on the phone as a rule, I happen to love texting.  It took me a while to warm up to the idea, but then I figured out that I could get finished typing a paragraph in my story, then I could answer.   I could look at the incoming text and think, “are you crazy?” and I could think about my answer before I type it in.

Yeah.  I love texting.

Of course, where the waters seem safest, there’s always a sea monster.  Recently I got the following text:

Hey beautiful I’m at work! Be extra careful on ur way in this morning!! I hope u have a great day today! I love you with all my heart and cant wait to see you! Muahhhhhh!

Unfortunately, that was not from my husband. It was from our neighbor down the street.

phone dangerA few seconds later I got the following:

Sorry I meant to send that to my wife.



Yeah, smart phones are not always so smart.

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!


I try hard to NOT be on the phone when I get to the cashier at the grocery checkout lane. If I am, I ask the caller to hold on. I figure the least I can do is smile and actually interact with the person who’s checking me out. That’s a person, after all, not a machine (thank God), and to ignore him/her is rude.

At least that’s what I think.

I also think it’s rude to go to lunch with a friend and spend the entire time checking my phone for texts. Iphone  clip art understand if there’s a real emergency, but that could be covered in advance. “I’m so sorry, my mother is in surgery and I may get a text to let me know how she’s doing.”  Totally understandable.

But otherwise, can you not wait for half an hour to find out that your buddy from Waco just hit the jackpot in the lottery and won $25 worth of tortilla chips?

The idea of cell phone courtesy is an interesting one to me.

Because I’ve gotta tell ya, I think it’s too late.

I think it’s a bit like tryiPhone thank young to signal the boat that there’s danger after it’s already gone over the dam.

Houston, we have a problem.

Technology is no longer a thing that is off in the distance somewhere, sending men to the moon. And etiquette is no longer a fixed set of standards.

Back then, you either knew, or did not know, which fork to use at dinner. You knew, or did not know, the protocols for sending thank you notes.
Now, the idea of etiquette–or courtesy–is in constant flux as the ways we communicate change right before our eyes.  Seems to me that the rules would need to change almost daily, or they won’t keep up with advancements in technology.Phone amy vanderbilt

Maybe we should give up rules entirely?

Incidentally, that book on the right, Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, is where I learned which fork to use. I checked that out of the library when I was fifteen, and then re-checked it for nearly an entire year.  I figured a girl needs to know about forks, yaknow?

So I’m updating an old manuscript—a book I wrote a long time ago—as part of a series that will release in a few months. The romance is still the same, but updates mean that everybody in the book now has a cell phone, because in modern life, almost everybody does.

And even then, I have a friend who has no cell phone and has no plans to get one.  She is embracing simplicity, and doesn’t want to be available to anybody, anywhere, any time.

I think I’ll put  a person like that in this series.

So tell me, Bandits and Buddies, what is courteous behavior for cell phone use?

Do you have any pet peeves about cell phones, whether in public or in private?

Ever gotten a text meant for someone else?

If you could write a section in the “Bandit Book of Modern Cell Phone Etiquette” what would you put in there?

Let Me Upgrade Ya

by Beth

Well, it’s that time again. Time to upgrade my cell phone. I really, really thought I wanted a Smartphone, preferably an iPhone. Why, with one of those I could check and respond to my emails! Take a picture and post it to my Facebook account! Check the weather any time I wanted and download tons of Apps. How cool would all that be??
And then I realized that since I work from home and am at my computer all day, I already have the ability to check and respond to email, post pictures on Facebook and check the weather. Never mind that I’m not even sure what an App is or why I would want one (or several dozen). I just couldn’t force myself to spend so much money AND raise my monthly cell phone bill (already high enough thanks to having three kids on it) to justify getting a Smartphone.
Plus, I have to be honest, I rarely even use the cell phone I have except to text my kids. The only time I use it daily is during RWA’s conference where most of my text conversations go like this:
Me: Where are you?
Friend: Just got done at a workshop/In my room/In the bar
Me: On my way.
Yes. I’m quite the texting conversationalist 😉
So, no Smartphone for me, although I can get online with the one I did get (if it’s not a Smartphone is it a Dumbphone?) but with limitations. I figure by the time I’m ready for my next upgrade, I’ll know if I’d truly use a Smartphone often enough to open my wallet *g*
Do you have a Smartphone? Do you want one? Do you love your cell phone or are you like me and only use it rarely?

Seduced by the dark side

by Suzanne Welsh

For the past year I’ve had a cell phone. Yes, me, the lone hold out in my town where people upgrade electronic devices like changing shoes, broke down and bought my first cell phone. To give you a little past history of why this was so monumental, let me take you back to an age when cell phones were nothing more than a glint in Ray Bradbury’s eyes as he wrote his first Star Trek screenplay.

As a young teen I loved talking on the phone. It was the social network of our time. The phone hung on the wall in the kitchen, but the cord was long enough to stretch to the stairs leading down to our basement. (In Ohio we all had basements.) So after dinner, washing the dishes and doing my homework I could spend half an hour perched on the top step talking to my friends–usually my best friend Marion or my equally good friend Terry. We’d talk about school, boys, friends, boys, clothes, boys, music….and yeah…boys

That stayed the norm until I went away to nursing school. Then I’d talk to boys, friends and my family on the pay phone at the end of the dorm hall, a fact that probably saved my nursing school career, since it limited the time I could spend distracted from studying, (minus the TV time, the chatting in other people’s dorm rooms time, oh yeah and the vodka on the weekend time.)

By the time I started my family portable phones were the new rage. But I stood by my old favorite, the wall mounted phone. Didn’t have to worry about charging it between uses. Always knew where it was…mounted on the wall. And any child wanting to talk on the phone had to do it within hearing range of the mama. 🙂

But then we moved to Texas about the same time cell phones invaded every home. It was amazing to look around when stopped at red lights to see every driver in front, behind and around me talking on a cell phone. One day I was at the groceries, enjoying the quiet as I thumped the cantelopes, only to have my peace distrubed by a lady yelling at her child over the cell phone. Please, I’d come shopping to get away from my family. Why would I want them to be able to find me via a portable phone?

After that a few things happened to change my mind.

1) I became a romance writer. I made friends and started traveling more for my new career. I needed to stay in touch with my family, and having a cell phone meant no long distance bills to my husband, no matter where I’d roamed.

2) My daughter became pregnant. Now it was very important for me to be reached any hour of the day or night.

3) It was time to come out of the dark ages. People were actually texting and on the internet from their phones. Sigh. The old wall mounted phone could never do that!

So now I find myself charging my phone when I’m at home. My kids ONLY call my cell, unless I don’t answer that. At work, I put it on vibrate and carry it in my pocket…but only IF I’m expecting one of them to call. Despite my seduction to the dark side of modern communication, I refuse to talk on the phone in a patient’s room!

So dear friends, how about you? Have you ever held out against something, only to slowly be seduced to it’s good points?