Remember Your Manners When Texting in Public

While out at a restaurant to other day, I happened to notice a small group of people at another table. They were chatting together while waiting for their meals to arrive.

Suddenly, a cell phone chirped and one of the people in the group checked their phone, chuckled at a text message they had received, and then, without a word to the others, typed a response to the message and placed the phone on the table before returning to the conversation.

“the situation reminded me of two people whispering to each other while in the company of a larger group of people”

A few moments later, the phone chirped again and the person responded to another message while ignoring the people at their table. This routine repeated itself at regular intervals throughout their meal.

Technology aside, the situation reminded me of two people whispering to each other while in the company of a larger group of people. Holding a private conversation, whether through text or in hushed tones, while in the presence of others is extremely poor manners and is disrespectful to the people you are with.

Good etiquette requires that when you are with other people, you turn off your cell phone and text messaging. If you are waiting for an urgent message and must respond, excuse yourself from the group and find a quiet location to respond to the message. If more discussion is needed, it is best to call the person to resolve the issue rather than letting text messages continue to disrupt the people you are with.

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