Author Topic: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)  (Read 4419 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2012, 10:56:12 PM »
It sounds like niece is the one who accidentally hung up the phone as it was being passed around. I wonder if her primary reason for pointing out how "old" the phone was involved excusing herself for hanging up.

Allyson

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2012, 02:08:06 AM »
I think that teasing about something like an old phone could be either totally harmless, annoying or mean depending on how it's done. But it's not really something I'd connect with the uncle's condition so I don't see it as 'mocking a disabled person', I think that's a bit oversensitive without further info. I think if the niece was told 'hey, back off' and didn't, then she was very rude. But if she wasn't then it's not teasing I'd automatically call 'mean'.

Jaelle

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2012, 09:53:59 AM »
On another note, the misspelling in the headline really disturbs me.  People who can't spell have no business working as by-line writers or editors.  Does no one use spellcheck anymore?

Heh. The newspaper where I work replaced the old computer system with a new one this past year. It was supposed to be SO wonderful  ...

It doesn't have spell-check. The program designers don't seem to see a problem with this.

And we're gone from about five sets of eyes seeing stories and pages before they're published to two ... if we're lucky. :P 

That said, I'm proud to say I noticed the typo immediately. :D  But I'm not a copy editor these days. :(
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CakeBeret

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2012, 10:11:01 AM »
First of all, the "Deceipt" in the headline irritates me. :P

I think that the niece was rude. She may have intended to be funny, but ended up being hurtful--and that's not okay. Teasing is very very much a "know your audience" subject. My father is older and has a phone designed specifically for seniors. I can tease him about his age and we'll have a good laugh, but I won't tease him about his phone. That would come across as "you're too stupid to work real technology" and crosses a line.

I don't think there's any use in bringing it up after the fact, but if it happens again, someone should speak up and tell the niece that she's being hurtful rather than funny.
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Mikayla

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2012, 02:42:08 PM »
I think there's too much context missing to even guess at this.  I can see scenarios where this could be amusing to everyone except the LW, who forgot to include the fact that she has no sense of humor whatsoever.

I can also see scenarios where it was deliberately hurtful and/or said by someone who thinks anyone not chasing the latest iteration of a phone is a loser, and also who is rude enough to say so.

bah12

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2012, 03:19:52 PM »
This is hard to comment on without knowing what was said, the tone, etc.  I also find it interesting that the LW only comments on her feelings and doesn't mention whether or not this hurt her husband.  A PP already said it, but I agree that she is likely very conscientious of her husband's condition and associates a lot more with it than anyone else does.  While the niece may very well have been making fun of the phone to be mean spirited, it's also very likely that she was just making fun of the phone and didn't connect that the reason for the phone was her uncle's medical condition.   At the same time, I guess this should teach to all think twice before making fun of anything.

Sophia

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2012, 04:46:12 PM »
I can not frame this up in any way that would be OK.  But, it isn't any different than making fun of someone's clothing choices because the clothes were cheap and out of date.  Making fun of someone in a social situation is never OK.  If I had been the letter writer, I probably would have been only able to discuss my feelings/impressions because I wouldn't want to bring it up to my husband and rub salt in the wound.  Yes, a cell phone is a minor thing.  But a family social function should be someplace you really shouldn't have to worry about being made fun of. 

Twik

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2012, 04:52:23 PM »
I can not frame this up in any way that would be OK.  But, it isn't any different than making fun of someone's clothing choices because the clothes were cheap and out of date.  Making fun of someone in a social situation is never OK.  If I had been the letter writer, I probably would have been only able to discuss my feelings/impressions because I wouldn't want to bring it up to my husband and rub salt in the wound.  Yes, a cell phone is a minor thing.  But a family social function should be someplace you really shouldn't have to worry about being made fun of.

POD.

And if Annie really thinks it was done "to get a rise" out of a disabled person, just laughing is not going to be a solution. I think a stern, "OK, knock if off. Now." would be more in order.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2012, 05:25:46 PM »
When my grandfather was still alive but in 90's he took to having a very, realistic shall we say, take on death.  he wanted to discuss his death, his plans, the finances etc.  he would ask me to go on the internet and research the cheapest coffins, and look into how the family could save on this or that, and he would crack jokes about his impending end, etc.

I was in my late teens.  I followed his lead and would indulge his questions, do his research and crack jokes right along side him. We would try to out-do each other with the morbidity and graphicness of our jokes.  He didn't mind at all, in fact I think he really appreciated that I would.

My grandmother and my dad though?  They were appalled.  Offended.  Mortified.  Angry.  You name the negative reaction they were it. And not at him - they didn't like that  grandpa talked about his death, but they accepted it - but at me.  I got scolded later by my dad 100% of the time (and this was a weekly conversation, so I was getting in quite a bit of trouble).

I think that the letter writer only speaks about her own reaction and not her husband's speaks volumes.  I can say I kept up with the death-talk despite getting in trouble for it because it wasn't about my dad, or my grandma.  I wasn't happy my grandpa was dying and I understood and sympathized with them over the inevitable future - I didn't want him to die either - but as far as I was concerned, grandpa's life and grandpa's death were topics grandpa got to set the tone for so long as he still could and I didn't care one hoot if everyone else minded.