This is not a sign we would ever see here in the US, but oh how I wish we would! The Japanese and several other cultures see it as a violation of people’s personal space and a rude intrusion to talk in public on your cell phone. Having experienced train rides and public places where people do not talk on their phones…I have to agree. 

I understand the need to stay connected. And I understand that we all have busy lives and important things happening. I also understand that you need to connect with people when both of you are available. What I do not understand is why I have to hear it all while standing next to you in line at the store, in the hotel lobby, on the airplane. If the call is important, then take it somewhere where you can truly listen and treat it as important…not whilst trying to negotiate with the cashier the sale price for the item you are purchasing, or trying to board the plane and get your carry on luggage into the overhead bin! If the call is TRULY important (like you are negotiating a nuclear arms disposal treaty with North Vietnam) then go somewhere and focus on what is important and leave me out of it. Ok, I’m ranting…I hope you see my point. 

We have let technology dictate our behavior, instead of choosing to have technology enhance our behavior. We have gotten so wrapped up in being important, connected, up to date, in the know that we have forgotten about what REALLY matters in this world…which are the people, including the strangers around us. I encourage you today to think before you speak on your phone in public. If the call is truly important, then go somewhere to take it and leave the rest of us out of it. Every time you interact with your phone instead of people, we get it. You might want to deny it or make excuses, or lie to yourself about your priorities, but you are telling us that whatever is on your phone is more important that the people in the room…Control the technology instead of letting the technology control you.