Cell phone bad manners

A few jokes by Seinfeld in his standup show [he noted that common behavior these days for two people meeting up is to place their cell phones on the table, as if drawing guns at a gunfight, seeing who will be first to receive a phone call and break the appointment for a more interesting social engagement] and an article in this week's NYTimes Sunday Styles reminded me of some of the behavior of cell phone users that drive me nuts. I've been guilty of some of these from time to time and have made a conscious effort to cut it all off.

  • People who constantly check their cell phone when they're out with you. Yeah, I get it, you're so damn popular. Do you want to be here or not? If you don't want to be here, then why don't you just leave? And can't you set your cell phone to vibrate or ring so you know when you have messages? Why are you looking at it every 10 minutes? Don't you know how to use your phone?

  • The most annoying two types of people who are constantly checking their cell phones: quasi-big shots whose constant cell phone monitoring reminds you that they're much more important than you are and could abandon you for more important company at any time, and those people who are not all that popular or important but who monitor their cell phone as if they are.

  • People who make time to see you and then spend half that time on the phone talking to other people. Yes, I'm having a lot of fun sitting here listening to one half of your conversation. Why don't you get out of here and join them and then call me on the cell phone so I can multi-task while you waste someone else's time?

  • A particularly irritating variant of the previous is the person who has to call their significant other every half hour to give updates on where they are. My mom used to yell at me for gabbing on the phone with friends I was going to see in person soon. Now I understand why. Couples like this need to just marry off and then spend all their time under the same house talking to each other. No one expects to hear from married couples anyway.

Besides, true playas don't have to carry cell phones. They have assistants that run important messages to them, and you can't reach them simply by dialing their cell. You have to go through their cadre of foot soldiers and minions to prove yourself worthy of their time first. The ratio of time you spend trying to get in front of them to the amount of their time you actually receive is in inverse proportion to your relative statuses in the world.
[The only people I don't resent for their cell phone usage are those who are on call. You can see the weary resignation with which they gaze upon these homing beacons which constantly circumscribe them in an invisible cage.]