Whoever decided the etiquette rules for the use of mobile phones must be a sad, lonely and sadistic son of a bitch! – forgive my French.
So you have a mobile phone and suddenly there is this long list of rules you are supposed to operate your phone by or else you come across as rude, irresponsible, uncaring, insensitive, stingy, nonchalant… the list is endless…. Take this
1. If you see my missed call, you must call me back in 24 hours, 48 hours the latest otherwise I have the right to call you and ask the stupid question “didn’t you see my missed call?”
2. If I send you a text you are supposed to reply…. within 5 minutes… or 10… latest a few hours otherwise – I can call you to say “didn’t you get my text?”
3. by the way, its not a letter I put in the post, it’s a text to your phone and you cant pretend you didn’t get it, you might not know it but I stuck it with a delivery notice… and will happily tell you “but I got a delivery message na” …. I might insist I’m not a stalker… but you know I’m good at this stuff!
4. If I leave you a voicemail…. This is even worse… you are supposed to listen and then either follow the instructions in my voice mail or call me back to say you got my voicemail! Of course you got my voice mail but I still want to hear you say it…. Otherwise I can call you back to say “didn’t you get my voicemail? Yeah you are getting the hang of this already!
5. If I call you once or twice and you don’t pick your phone because you are busy, indisposed, in a train or simply up to more interesting things, I have the right to keep calling…. To keep calling till you have 11 missed calls from me, till I run down your battery…. Till I have irritated the hell out of you….and if you do eventually pick my call or call back – I can self righteously say “I have been trying to reach you now! I called you 11 times!” somebody should say “so?” or “were you dying at the time?” but if you do say that, mobile phone etiquette gives me the right to be very upset, angry and to call you one of those things I have listed above….and then tell everybody about it. This is getting really rich isn’t it?
6. Another one, if I meet you and you are polite, slightly friendly, I can ask for your number, if I do ask for your number, you have to give me! You have already made the mistake of being friendly. Etiquette says so! You can’t say you don’t have a phone, cos I already saw it, someone like me already called you 11 times! And God help you if you say “you don’t want to give me your number!” you have broken the rule and I can view you as stuck up, silly, full of s..t, nasty, unfriendly, outrightly rude…. Name it…. Its my prerogative…. Since you chose to break the rules
7. and now that I have your number, I can call you, text you, voicemail you…. Anything… and you have to apply rules 1 to 5…..seriously! I own you! My mobile phone ensures I relate with you on my terms not yours, at my convenience not yours… I am abusing you, taking advantage of you and there is not much you can do about it….. If you throw away your phone or switch it off for a few days, I and everybody else like me will panic and do worse things like bombard you with emails, facebook messages, twitter messages, hi5 and yes the new one –buzz! We might even call your family just to check if you are fine and if we are family, we will call each other, just to check if anybody has heard from this phone loosing, phone switching off weirdo.
8. Don’t even try to sneak online and offline….cos we will see you and say hello! And you must answer!