The topic of discussion on a local radio talk show this morning was “things people do that are unbelievably rude”. The general consensus was that the most rude behavior in our culture is paying attention to your phone when others are trying to engage you in conversation. This behavior is also known as “I-Don’t-Know-Who-This-Text-Is-From-But-It-Has To-Be-More-Interesting-Than-What-You-Are-Saying-Itis”

We’ve all done it. Some more than others. Some are aware we’ve done it and have tried to correct it. I’m proposing a nation-wide movement to address it.

I’m going to be trying out a couple of behavior modification initiatives on people I come into contact with. To be fair, there aren’t that many, but I’m interested to see what happens.

If I’m in a fixed location like a living room and am having a discussion with someone, I’m going to stop what I’m saying mid-sentence until they look back up from their phone, then continue on until they look back down again. I can only assume they are completely bored with whatever I’m talking about, so this is sort of a spiteful way to get back at them for ignoring me by making it drag out even longer.

If I happen to run into someone coming in/out of the grocery store or something and we stop to talk, I’m going to walk away the instant they start paying attention to their device. I’ll just assume the conversation is over and we’re done.

Turnabout is fair play. Do the same thing to me if I’m paying more attention to a device than I am to you. Feel free to add a throat clearing sound in there too.

I won’t think you’re being rude, but I may be embarrassed at my own behavior.