Movie theaters are not the place for Facebook and Twitter

There have always been some implicit (and sometimes explicit) rules and guidelines for phone usage, and more specifically, text messaging. Most people realize it’s impolite or just downright rude to text during movies, performances and when spending one on one time with another person.

And then came smartphones.

It has always been annoying when the person in front of you in a movie theater takes out their phone and sends a quick text in the middle of the movie, but now we have to deal with people using their phones during movies and surfing the net for far longer than the few seconds it takes to send that one, obnoxious text.

Let’s face it. There will always be rude people who disregard the feelings of everyone else around them and text all the time, whether they’re in a movie, driving or at church. Now smartphones have enhanced the ability of owners to be even more rude because of their snazzy ability to connect to the Internet all the time, more people are on their phones for even longer in inappropriate places at inappropriate times.

I’ve had far too many experiences where I’m with a friend who just can’t stay away from their phone for more than 30 seconds at a time. It’s obnoxious because it seems as if whatever we’re doing at the time isn’t good enough. Am I really so boring that my own “friend” feels the need to play games or surf the net instead of talk to me?

The answer is typically no. Some people just don’t understand how rude and insulting it is to suddenly turn on their phone and disengage from anything happening outside of the technology in their hands without another word.

Now I’ll admit, I’ve probably done this a few times myself. But I try and always make a point of saying, “Sorry, I’m expecting an important email and I need to see if I have it yet,” or, “I’m telling my roommate I’m sending her money for our utilities bill, even though it’s two weeks late.” I’d appreciate the same courtesy from friends so I don’t think whatever’s on their phone is more important than the plans they’ve made with me.

And to anyone who uses their smartphone during a movie, at church, while driving and during so many more inappropriate situations – that’s never been okay, and it still isn’t. Is it really that pertinent to check Facebook in the middle of a show? If yes, please exit the theater at your earliest convenience and use the Internet all you want.

Plus, using your phone while driving is extremely unsafe. Wait until you get to your destination before you respond to that text or get on the Internet. Texting and driving has caused many accidents and deaths and will continue to do so until people change their habits. Really, it’s not worth possibly hurting someone because you have an impulse to check Twitter while you’re driving.

So please, before you take out your smartphone next, think about what you’re doing. Are you in the middle of a fancy dinner, at a funeral or watching a Broadway show? If yes, put your phone away.

I promise that text will still be there later.