You could be doing something 150 times a day…and it’s making you bad mannered! 71



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We’ve all been there: you’re having a coffee with a friend and their phone rings, they answer it and then spend the next 20 minutes talking to someone else, while you politely wait with your coffee going cold and your temper fraying. Over the years, smart phones have gone from being a novelty in the hands of early adopters to being commonplace and according to the most recent research, we check our phones about 150 times a day.

It’s estimated that 85 per cent of Australians own a smart phone. Our love for digital devices is strong, and growing every day with around a third of those who don’t already have a smartphone or tablet planning to buy one in the next 12 months. So they are everywhere and they are really useful. We text and call, face time our family and friends, book flights and even use them to check how active we are being.

Checking your phone is fine when you are on your own, but if you check it when you are with someone, are you being rude? It’s even worse if the person checking their phone is a teenager. Should we politely sit there quietly waiting for them to return their attention to us, or should we speak up and nip the bad manners in the bud?

We’ve come up with a few rules we think everyone should abide by when using the mobile – feel free to add your own.

*Give the person you are with your full attention.

*Don’t shout – that’s what the phone is for.

*Don’t ignore quiet zones on trains and in public buildings.

*If you are with someone don’t answer it. That’s what voicemail is for.

*Don’t make waiters and shop assistants wait till you have finished your conversation.

*If you’re under 16 you don’t need a mobile.


Have we got it covered or are there more rules you’d like to add? Tell us how often you think you check your mobile phone every day?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I’ve seen this so many times just yesterday at the supermarket waiting in the line to go through the checkout a woman on her phone talking the poor cashier you could see was annoyed the woman had no conversation with the cashier not one word not even a thank you I felt like saying something but didn’t so I had a good little chat to the cashier to let her know not all of us are so rude

    1 REPLY
    • I often see things like that, and I feel like showing the phone right up the arses. So the have to drink at list 2litre of castor oil, to bring the phone back!!!!!

  2. Just love the places that have a sign saying to step out of the line if on your phone. There should be more of them.

    1 REPLY
    • I have not seen one of those signs but I certainly wish they were everywhere. Standing in line at Woolies the other day in an express lane waiting, waiting for this person who had way more then 15 items, trying to get the items paid for’ fumbling while talking, making us wait! I just wish the shop assistant had told her but they can’t! So frustrating and getting worse by the day!

  3. I am fortunate to have had a life prior to mobile phones and I have not allowed them to be a huge part of my life. I have a flip phone (my second phone ever) and I never pick it up unless I receive a txt or it rings and then only if I am not in a public place and not with friends. Mobile phones are useful but are slowly breaking down our social society and we are yet to find out the full extent of the physical and mental injuries that a person will sustain due to long time use 🙁

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  4. Interesting, I think this is right, people are being rude. I understand if it’s some type of emergency but not just socialising. Let’s move on from this false way of socialising

  5. There are some exception but v few. Waiting for medical results for example. But say up front i’m expecting this please forgive me.

    1 REPLY
    • Me too. Often people will say to go ahead and answer it, but if it is not one of those very rare important calls I say no, I’ll ring them back.

  6. Ssssooooooo rude, I hate when people do that. I used to work in retail and women (I won’t say ladies) used to completely ignore you and talk on the phone .

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  7. I hate them for that reason. When I go out with friends we make it a point that they stay in our handbags.

  8. Shouldn’t be too harsh. I can remember my father saying how television was rude, would ruin conversations, make people antisocial and lead to “God only knows what.” Oh hang on ——– I think he may have been right.

  9. 150 times a day! Not me. I have seen young women talk on their phones to the exclusion of those around them, cashiers, shop assistants, friends, but I think even for them 150 times a day is pushing it. It would be nice to have something positive on this site instead of telling us how wrong we are!

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  10. Phones are not the only way of being rude. I once checked my iPad after sitting listening to one woman regaling another women about her grandchildren (at a public social gathering) – a monologue that held no interest for me. After feeling embarrassed for a good 10 minutes I opened my iPad and checked my mail. The one very rude woman who had talked non-stop about her grandchildren glared at me. So add telling endless stories about children and grandchildren, to a captive audience of polite women attending a meeting about “Transition Towns”, to the list of very rude behaviour.

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