Cydney Baron

This month is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month and I think it's the perfect time to tell you that I have no interest in participating in your FaceTime call while doing my grocery shopping.

I'm not sure when, and I'm not sure how, but somewhere along the way it became acceptable to take video calls without headphones while out and about. There is a time and place for everything, and the produce section of the grocery store is neither the time nor the place for the world to see and hear, in real time, your sister teaching her new puppy to sit.

In researching cell phone courtesy, I came across a rule of thumb I think is worth passing on: Anywhere a group of strangers are seated together is a bad place to talk on the phone."

I know it's tempting. I mean, other people in the coffee shop are talking amongst themselves, so why shouldn't you get to call FaceTime your best friend so she can see your mocha-whatever?

A 2010 study found that because we tend to talk louder when we're on the phone, even on video chat, a FaceTime conversation is distinguishable from the hum of everyone else in the same room. Just take a photo of the mocha-whatever and post it on Instagram like everyone else.

Cell phone courtesy has absolutely changed over time.

What started with "don't take calls in public" turned into "okay you can take calls, but don't text while people are talking to you."

Which spiraled into the incredibly obvious "Don't text while driving….or performing any other critical task."

From there it was a quick jump to "don't use speaker phone if you're in public."

And now here we are.

When you FaceTime in public I am part of your conversation—whether I want to be or not. Not only that, but I am forced to navigate around you or otherwise accommodate you because there’s a 100 percent chance you are not paying attention to your surroundings.

The more ways technology is added to our lives, the more ways there are to inconvenience and annoy those around us. The rules are ever-changing. But for now, we can we all agree to simply try to avoid being rude and intrusive?

Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Progress.

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