General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Put your phone down!

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SmarterPrimate:
Of course, I wouldn't say that, but do I even say anything at all?

My best Friend comes over once a week, we order dinner (or I cook), and watch our favourite show together with my husband, and occasionally one or two other people. The issue is, Friend spends probably 80% or more of the evening on his iPhone. Occasionally he plays a game, but more often than not he is texting with other people. I feel like I have been extremely patient (this has been going on for a year or more), but I am coming to the end of my rope. Plus, itís starting to affect me in the sense that I feel like I am not good enough company anymore, and I wonder why he bothers to come over at all if we are not going to interact. He literally sits like a bump at the end of the sofa, hunched over his phone. Last week, I put a plate of fresh, hot, home made waffles in front of him (his proclaimed favourite) and he basically ignored the plate for about 10 minutes. By that time, my husband and I were well into our meals. (Of course, normally I wait to eat until all guests are present and ready to eat as well. Iím not keen to wait on someone who is physically present, but mentally occupied with an electronic device.)

EvilPrimate wants me to return the rudeness, and pull out my Ereader when friend pulls out his iPhone, but honestly I donít think heíd even notice. Plus, I know thatís not an eHell approved method. What can I say/do? Anything? Nothing?

(Bear in mind, Friend is EXTREMELY quick to take offense at the slightest notion. Look up ďtouchyĒ in the dictionary, and you see his picture.)

Lynn2000:
It does sound annoying. Is the show you're watching airing "live" or is it DVD/streaming/etc.? In other words, could you pause the show when you see Friend glued to his phone, and when he finally notices say something like, "Oh, I saw that you were texting, and I didn't want to start the show and distract you from that, so I'm pausing it until you're ready," in a cheerful, helpful tone. Like you might if someone had to take a phone call or use the bathroom or something.

TurtleDove:
I would simply not invite him anymore.  His behavior sounds irritating, mostly because it seems he is not multitasking but rather focused solely on texting people who are not present. People have different styles of "relaxing" and it seems yours does not match his.

SmarterPrimate:
Lynn2000, that is a very good idea! The show airs live, but we record it and watch the recording to skip the commercials. I'm totally going to try your idea! Any advice for when the show is over and it's not time to end the gathering, but he's still sucked into the little blue screen?

I appreciate the sentiment TurtleDove, but that is out of the question. I think I mentioned Friend is actually my Best Friend - for almost 20 years. This is "new" behaviour, and if I stopped inviting him over bluntly because of it, he would definitely notice and would open another whole can of worms. I also mentioned he's a bit touchy  ::)

Sophia:
I would say something to him ahead of time.  Tell him it drives you batty when he ignores you guys to play on his phone.  I think pausing the show would have worked really really well 10 months ago. 

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