It’s Just Plain Rude

One behavior I notice among people—Japanese and foreigners alike—is the blatantly discourteous use of cell phones. For example, I was at a lunch birthday party earlier this year, and two of the guests (non-Japanese) had the nerve to text message during the meal. This is more than impolite; it’s disrespectful. Their decision to interact with their cell phones, instead of the people they were with, sent the message, “You’re not important enough to keep my attention.”

So often, I observe at restaurants people who sit at the same table together but don’t talk to each other because at least one is text messaging.

Why is it that far too many people would rather attend to the email alarm of a cell phone than actually engage in the arena of human interaction surrounding them?

And why don’t people understand that it’s just plain rude!?