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After spending several minutes in a phone conversation with my sister, I decided to sit down and try to make sense of one of the most common complaints of parents, teachers and employers.
The problems are cell phones and texting, specifically where mobile phones belong and where they don't.
We are, unfortunately, a society that demands attention, this very minute, for everything we do. Therefore, we feel entitled to carry our phones with us everywhere, even the most inappropriate places: school, work, church and dare I have to even say it, the funeral home.
I have caught myself lately excusing myself from conversations to take a phone call. I have even talked while I was checking out of the grocery store. Shame on me. There was a time when the only way I could be reached was by the house phone and you or someone you're with had better be bleeding, unconscious, not breathing or experiencing a minor emergency like a flat tire.
At school, phones are to be off at all times, but the kids are smart enough to put them on silent and check all through class.
If they get a text they are off to the bathroom to answer. Class is disrupted, they miss what is going on or the entire class is on hold when they need to be brought up to speed. At least their buddy knows where they are sitting at lunch or whose locker to meet at and "did you see so-and-so's outfit?"
I have had to wait while a cashier finished her texting or been stopped in mid-question while she answered her phone looking at me like "Hello can't you see I'm on the phone?"
I have seen people talking and texting at the funeral home and heard the familiar buzzing at church. Seriously, unless you are a doctor or a nurse on call, leave your phone in the car. If you can't, stay at home. Your phone call is obviously more important than listening to what your minister is trying to tell you.
Something else to consider is our rights as citizens.
Yes, you have the right to do what you want when you want as long as you aren't breaking the law, but as a citizen you are also obliged to show compassion and consideration for your fellow man.
We work and pay taxes for our schools and children's education. If you are on your cell during the day, you are interfering with my children's right to learn. While I am working, I am there to make money to support my family. If you are on the phone or texting during working hours, you aren't able to watch what you are doing.
This is obviously just my opinion and if you call and I don't answer, I will be at one of the places on my list or just busy. That doesn't mean what you have to say isn't important to you, or me, for that matter. I just have things to do.
Don't bother to text, I don't believe in it. I do have voice mail but don't listen to those messages very often but I do check my missed-calls list. I will get back to you.
Elder lives near Evanston.