More than once now, we've been over how cell phones have negatively affected our lives, especially phones of the more intelligent type.
On one hand, smartphones have enabled us to remain connected to the online world with minimal interruption. You can tweet, update your Facebook status, share pictures and send emails from practically anywhere in the world at literally any time. We now have an ever-growing arsenal of communication platforms at our fingertips that we have never had before.
But smartphones also serve as a gateway to some pretty nasty habits. Whether you use your phone at the dinner table or you interrupt people mid-conversation to answer a phone call or text message, we all have our own set of terrible smartphone practices.
I have openly admitted that I'm no golden child when it comes to smartphones and my usage. I carry two phones each and every day, and they are constantly buzzing, dinging and flashing lights. They're awfully difficult to ignore sometimes, and they're too easy to use as a scapegoat to get out of awkward situations and conversations. I ignore phone calls and immediately text back. I answer calls at dinner. I text and tweet durning lectures, events and pretty much any long-winded speeches. (I barely put my phone down at my sister's graduation last year. Sorry, sis!) And I whip out my iPhone to take pictures of the most random things, sometimes at the worst and most inappropriate times ever.
But rarely do we think about the people we're upsetting, annoying or frustrating. How often do you sit back and ponder who you have carelessly dismissed with your cell phone at the end of each day? Do you think about what's going through someone's head when you text a friend through your entire conversation with them? What has someone done to you today with their cell phone that has annoyed you?
Thorin Klosowski asked Lifehacker readers What Annoys You Most About How People Use Cell Phones?
Honestly, this is something I could go on about all day. Being a little more advanced than your average user, there are hundreds of little things I see people doing with their cell phones that drive me up the wall. These can range from something specific someone does with their phone to when, where and how they use their phone.
For instance, when I see someone adding a new contact for each of another person's number, I can't take it. My friend has me in his phone three different times and so does my girlfriend (i.e.: Taylor iPhone, Taylor Nexus, etc.). Contacts come with support for multiple lines. Why not use it?
I also can't take it when someone talks about how much they love their smartphone and how awesome it is, how it's capable of doing so much, yet they're not willing to learn new things or use it to its fullest potential. For example, let's say John loves his new iPhone and how easy it is to email news articles to himself so he can read it later on his computer. Instead of filling his inbox, he could simply save said articles to a Pocket account or Evernote … or Instapaper, all services that are made specifically for such a task.
Idiosyncrasies like these are a dime a dozen, though. Smartphones are capable of so much, yet average users settle for not doing something they want to do because they "don't know how."
But there are a handful of other things that people do with their phones that irk me. For one, I don't like talking on the phone excessively to begin with. If a conversation can be transmitted over a series of text messages, I would much rather prefer texting. My mother is notorious for calling me back when I say, "Text me later." I let it slide for her. After all, she gave birth to me, so I'm forever indebted to her. But when anyone else calls me back instead of texting, I generally ignore the call and text the person immediately.
Another habit that can get under my skin quicker than any other is abbreviating words that don't need to be abbreviated. For instance, using "2" instead of "to". To type "2" on most smartphones, the keyboard requires users to tap a symbol key to open numerals and other symbols. Then the user has to tap the 2 key. Doing the apparently complicated math, that's two taps, the exact same number of taps it takes to type "to". Honest spelling and grammatical errors are acceptable. But anyone who purposefully degrades the English language is better off not texting me. And if you're part of the minority that still uses a T9 phone (or a T9 soft keyboard on your smartphone), just keep abbreviations to a minimum. (See? I can sympathize.)
But the one that seriously takes everything I have buried deep in my fibers not to flip out and break bones over is someone text messaging during a movie. (Can you see the Hulk coming through just yet?) I sat through this just a few weeks ago when I was watching The Dark Knight Rises on the Saturday after it hit theaters. A guy one row down and one seat over started texting just a few minutes into the movie. My girlfriend heard me say a few things and saw the look on my face before starting to console me, but I sneaked a few kicks into the back of the guy's seat before making a blind with my hand and trying to forget about it. How anyone can be as naive to think their phone is only visible to them and not blinding everyone else in a pitch black theater is beyond me.
Most the time, I try to just put the things people do behind me and move on. But there are just some things I can't ignore, like the blinding light coming from the guy's phone in front of me through the one movie I was dying to see this year.
What kind of things do people do with their cell phones that put you on edge, folks? Texting at the movies? At dinner? Interrupting your conversation to answer a text or call? Or even smaller things like not using their phone to its potential? Sound off and share what annoys you in the comments below!