Author Topic: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)  (Read 4399 times)

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Venus193

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Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« on: December 08, 2012, 08:07:03 AM »
http://www.creators.com/advice/annies-mailbox/forgetfulness-more-likely-than-deceipt.html

I have to disagree with the Annies on this one.  Teasing is not always good-natured and the victim's feelings about this should be respected.

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?

LeveeWoman

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 08:12:21 AM »
http://www.creators.com/advice/annies-mailbox/forgetfulness-more-likely-than-deceipt.html

I have to disagree with the Annies on this one.  Teasing is not always good-natured and the victim's feelings about this should be respected.

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?

Teasing a sick man who has trouble learning new things when you know that he does is disgusting.

cicero

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 08:30:43 AM »
http://www.creators.com/advice/annies-mailbox/forgetfulness-more-likely-than-deceipt.html

I have to disagree with the Annies on this one.  Teasing is not always good-natured and the victim's feelings about this should be respected.

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?

I agree with you. especially since the teaser is 42! I could somehow understand a child or even a disgruntled teen behaving that way, but a grown woman?

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Venus193

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 08:47:18 AM »
It's such juvenile behavior that I don't get why she wasn't called on it.

Coley

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 08:51:00 AM »
Adults get to make their own decisions about what will or will not work for them. Cajoling, teasing, or belittling people for their decisions is simply disrespectful behavior.

kherbert05

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 09:48:52 AM »
Annie needs to learn the difference between teasing and a joke, because she is treating teasing like a joke.


Joke - the other person is laughing with you. Example - I'm explaining cord cutting to Coach. She says I'm a geek, I say she is a technophobe - and we are both laughing.


Teasing - hurts. Giving a ill man with cognitive issues a hard time about the level of tech he uses hurts.
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LadyL

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 02:40:48 PM »
Devil's advocate - I think it depends on what was said. If they have a joking rapport and she said something like "1999 called, it wants its phone back" I could see it being something everyone laughs about. But if she said something more scathing, like "Wow, who makes that ancient piece of junk, Fisher Price?" it would definitely be hurtful.

It's interesting that the wife is writing in on behalf of her husband being insulted but says nothing about how her husband actually felt when it happened. The letter is focused on her own reactions.


O'Dell

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 03:06:20 PM »
I don't think teasing is always disrespectful. It can also be a sign of affection.

I can see this situation going both ways depending on wording, tone, relationship between the uncle and niece. The LW says that the niece seemed intent on embarrassing her uncle. I tend to give her word some weight, because she was there to know these things and we weren't, but she seems to be overreacting over one instance. If it were a pattern of behavior on the niece's part, then I could see the LW's point even if the niece were well-meaning.
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bonyk

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 03:12:56 PM »
I think the LW is assuming that niece made the connection between uncle's condition and the old phone.  I don't really see that as a connection that most people would make.  I think LW probably overreacted.

Deetee

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 03:24:40 PM »
I read the letter and it sounded like the niece was making fun of the phone, not the husband.  The letter writer made the leap that the neice actually meant to make fun of the husband.

Quote
"This niece made fun of the phone in front of the entire family and seemed intent on embarrassing him."

I make total fun of old phones. I don't do it now as much because I upgraded to a smart phone, but I held my own flip phone in complete techonological contempt ( as did my friends) for years. I still make fun of my parent's phone and occassionally suggest that they could replace it with passenger pigeons without losing much functionality or maybe get an upgrade to a telegraph system.

Anyhow, I would need to be present to judge this because a comment about an object is not a comment about the owner's state of health. If only the LW was making that connection, then the Annie's are perfectly correct.

doodlemor

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 04:28:30 PM »
I typed for awhile, and then realized that I was paraphrasing O'Dell.

It is possible that niece made one comment, and the wife was annoyed.  It seems to me, though, that niece probably made more than one remark, because of the wife's phrase "seemed intent on embarrassing him." 

Why would niece think that a conversation about a sub par cell phone would be even remotely interesting to a group of people with diversified ages?  It certainly sounds to me like niece was actively trying to annoy.

I hope that the letter writer and her DH stay away from niece for awhile, or treat her with icy politeness if she can't be avoided.




jane7166

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 04:49:51 PM »
My niece and nephews make fun of my brother's (their father) cell phone all the time.  It's a flip phone.  My brother is a well-known techno-phobe.  His daughter even said, at Thanksgiving, that her dad is not allowed to have a smart phone.  It was all in fun.  My brother is not disabled or ill. 

Full disclosure:  My DH and I also have simple flip phones because we're too cheap to pay monthly fees.  We would have no problem with smart phones, we just don't need them.   

However, if niece made fun of her cousin's flip phone (my DD with autism,) I would have been extremely hurt.  Not that niece would.  But, if anyone did that, that would be the last time they would be in the same house with DD and me. 

I think the LW's niece knew exactly what she was doing and it was mean. 

HoneyBee42

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2012, 04:54:14 PM »
I read the letter and it sounded like the niece was making fun of the phone, not the husband.  The letter writer made the leap that the neice actually meant to make fun of the husband.

Quote
"This niece made fun of the phone in front of the entire family and seemed intent on embarrassing him."

I make total fun of old phones. I don't do it now as much because I upgraded to a smart phone, but I held my own flip phone in complete technological contempt ( as did my friends) for years. I still make fun of my parent's phone and occasionally suggest that they could replace it with passenger pigeons without losing much functionality or maybe get an upgrade to a telegraph system.

Anyhow, I would need to be present to judge this because a comment about an object is not a comment about the owner's state of health. If only the LW was making that connection, then the Annie's are perfectly correct.

To be honest--to me, it is one thing to make fun of one's own possessions as being not-quite-up-to-desired-standards; but it's something else altogether to make fun of some one else's.  I have a flip phone myself, no intentions of ever 'upgrading'.  To be honest, I *HATE* possessing one because it is something that I never chose for myself, it was thrust upon me by virtue of being a victim of a crime.   If it weren't for that, I probably still wouldn't possess one.  Persons who make fun of my phone or the fact that I still prefer to use my landline would--family or not--find themselves no longer welcome in my home.

So I think that the LW has every right to be annoyed (although I do wonder about the phone-owner's feelings) as the niece's behavior would have put a pall on at least part of the gathering.  Bringing down the level of enjoyment of a group *on purpose* is always rude.  The sense I get, like others, is that the niece's intent was to be annoying (the "intent on embarrassing him" indicates more than a single passing comment to me). For the immediate occurrence, copious amounts of beandip (or fruitcake) seem called for, and avoidance/icy politeness for the future.  Ridiculing one's host is just inappropriate all the way around.


Deetee

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2012, 05:20:08 PM »
...snip....Ridiculing one's host is just inappropriate all the way around.

It just wasn't clear to me that she was ridiculing the host. If she was, then of course she was rude, no question, full stop.

But as I said above, there just isn't enough information to determine if niece was mean or the LW was totally over-reacting. It would never occur to me to really link a phone to person's sense of worth or well being or anything like that. It is simply a possession.

I has a "stupid phone" for years. It worked well and served its purpose. Now I have a smart phone. I love my smart phone but I'm not a better or worthier person because of it. (Though I am a person who gets lost a LOT less so maybe I am a bit better).

There are excellent reasons to have a "smart phone" and excellent reasons to have a "dumb phone". Personally, I was a little tickled when my friends would make fun of my dumb phone and refer to me being stuck in the last decade and pointing out pictures of huge phones and calling it my phone. It was "our thing" and it was affectionate.

Insulting the host is bad. Teasing a piece of technology is not.

I simply don't have enough information to determine what happened at that dinner table.

MrsJWine

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Re: Dear Annie 12/8//12: Outdated Cell Phone (2nd letter)
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2012, 10:43:46 PM »
I see that the wife is embarrassed for her husband, and that she thinks the niece was intent on embarrassing him. I don't see where she says the husband was embarrassed at all. If the husband didn't mind the teasing, I think the letter writer is being too sensitive.

I really like the first letter, where the woman complains about her sister not mentioning seeing her son at a restaurant. That's the sort of thing I would forget (mainly because it's just not a big deal), and I'm 30.


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