Feb 20 2009   12:43PM GMT


edoyle Profile: edoyle


Planephone.jpgRyanair’s move reignites the debate about mobile phone etiquette. Etiquette is a quaint outmoded concept alive only in the form of netiquette on Web forums. Today we talk of respect (pron. rispeck) and it is something that is demanded. In my day, young man, respect was earned and consideration was the ‘rispeck’ of its day but it was something given freely. Now consideration, like etiquette, is becoming a rare gift. “Excuse me, do you mind if I make a call?” is not a phrase I’ve ever heard used. Texting and emailing in public is more acceptable but why do people do it in the middle of a conversation or at the dinner table? It’s the new smoking. “I’ll just have an inter-course email.” Are we all becoming so self-centred?

Now, I love my phone as much as anyone can but I do try to consider other people and I don’t really want to wash my dirty linen in public anyway. I also commute into London and there’s always someone on a crowded train bellowing down their phone. “Sorry to ring so late but my boss said if I didn’t f-ing ring you today I’d be in deep s*** tomorrow.” Tackle them and train rage rears it’s head. Fight or flight to a different carriage are the only options. Frowning or tutting doesn’t work any more.

Now transpose that to a busy plane where you’re sat next to the phonaholic who now has access to onboard mobile services. You’re trapped and a cornered animal that can’t flee is forced to fight. Stress levels are high and I fear that air-rage will result – even now, my air-steward friend tells me its fairly common and that’s before the mobile morons are activated.

Am I alone in my call for the rebirth of consideration for others? Do we need mobile-everywhere or am I just an ageing, whining reactionary?

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