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The Vote: “Stop texting, I’m talking to you!”

Is texting whilst talking to other people plain rude?

Published on July 21st 2009.

The Vote: “Stop texting, I’m talking to you!”
Yes: - 90%
No: - 10%

A recent report has stated that texting whilst talking to people is a classic example of how society has become more impolite. What do you think?

By texting aren’t you saying that you consider the person you’re talking to, live, at that moment, of less interest than the person you’re texting?

Let's start with a game of have you ever.....

Have you ever sent a text when in the company of someone else? Properly in their company: talking to them, looking in their eyes, all one-to-one like.

And if you have, would you consider what you were doing rude?

Here’s a scenario. You’re out on a date and the person you’re with is constantly texting. Which of these would you do?

a) Check your own phone to see if anybody else loves you and send a few of your own

b) Get progressively more annoyed until you confront them about it, or make a swift exit after saying you were going to the toilet

c) Take their phone and smash it up.

Confidential is split on this.

Probably in a younger versus older way.

Some of the office don’t mind people texting mid-conversation as long as it isn’t constant (and what they’re receiving isn’t in that infuriating sub-language, for example “Wat r u up2 m8!”).

Also the pro-texting lobby thinks if you're with mates, especially a group of mates, then it isn’t a problem. Everybody else is doing it: and you don't want to miss out on something happening somewhere that you could all enjoy.

Others in Confidential hate the notion of texting whilst talking. After all by doing so aren’t people saying that they consider you, the person they’re talking to, live, at that moment, of less interest than the person they're texting? That the person on the end of the phone is way more entertaining, captivating and important than poor second class you.

The worst part of this is that you know nine times out of ten what’s being communicated is banal. Perhaps the only exception to the no texting rule should be over a matter of vital importance - maybe you’re waiting for news of your partner going into labour, or about to close the deal of the century. Even here you should pre-warn people with a polite, “May I leave my phone on, as I’m expecting a very important message.”

And what about those people who call work meetings and then spend the whole time texting or Blackberrying? Or - and we saw this with our own Confidential eyes at Manchester International Festival – those people who text during plays, in the quiet moments? Suddenly in the darkened auditorium a phone screen blinks to life in the row in front of you and a person starts texting.

Is this a generational issue, an example of the quickfire technological world of the twenty first century creating a new dynamic in human interaction?

Or is texting whilst talking just plain fucking rude?

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43 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Disillusioned DanJuly 21st 2009.

To quote your question at the end of the article, I do indeed think that "texting while talking is just plain f*cking rude". AAARRRGGGHHH!! It makes me boil over just thinking about it. It's easily on a par with not receiving a simple thank you when opening a door for someone or when flashing to let someone join the queue of traffic! OK, rant over. Must get back to work before I throw my monitor across the room. AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!

Amanda DJuly 21st 2009.

****ing ****ing rude. If you're a teenager fine, otherwise give the flesh in front of you your undivided attention.

scoteeeJuly 21st 2009.

Technological advances shouldnt change basic manners.This new technology versus society was identified by Dom Jolly in his Trigger happy T.V series where his melodramatic character answers the phone and screams 'HELLO' in an art gallery,and then continuing his conversation.Funny, but makes a simlar point. My point being that there is a place and a time and manners don't change,but some members of society's demonstrate through this that their levels of ignorance do.Plain ****ing rude!

Beefy StewJuly 21st 2009.

On a date last Saturday, the woman spent the whole night receiving and sending texts. i couldn't believe it. She said at first she was checking on her Father, but when she was still at it at one in the morning, I excused myself to go to the loo and simply fuc*ed off to see some pals in another club. Do two wrongs make a right? You bet!

smittyJuly 21st 2009.

It's so rude! I've got one pal in particular who is the worst at this, but if he's separated from his phone for more than about five minutes he starts to wilt. If they would rather be out with the person they're texting, then they should've thought about that before meeting up with me! God, I sound like great fun to be around... Also, I can't bear the office version of this where people tappity tap tap tap away on either their blackberries during a meeting, or - in the rudest move of all - do emails while you're trying to have a conversation with them. Rude, rude, RUDE!

Sld No B8terJuly 21st 2009.

I would have commented on this article but I was too busy texting

ChickJuly 21st 2009.

Bloody rude. Just another symptom of the me, me, me society in which we live. I banned my employees from using mobile phones as they were permanently wedded to them - it didn't work so I invested in a signal scrambler. I also lose the plot when, on an almost daily basis, some twat wanders in front of my car whilst texting or talking crap on their mobile, usually whilst listening to their i-pod at the same time.

15% say no?July 21st 2009.

so speak, give us your opinion ?

AnonymousJuly 21st 2009.

Beefy Stew - cant have been that rude if you hung round untill 1am? or maybe you only left when it became clear she wasnt going to put out...?

scoteeeJuly 21st 2009.

I disagree anon- the fact that she was so rude for so long doesnt mean he has to be..but give the guy a break there has to be a cut off?

smittyJuly 21st 2009.

Anonymous, you clearly don't understand how guys work. Of course Beefy Stew was waiting to see if she put out - what a waste of an evening if he hadn't at least given it a punt. When it became clear she wasn't, he made his rather stylish exit.

bad ad for guys smittyJuly 21st 2009.


Konrad WhiteJuly 21st 2009.

To give it a fine poetic flourish he should have texted her that he'd had to leave

Conrad BlackJuly 21st 2009.

Actually Beefty should have done that Konrad but texted her that he'd had to leave to meet some of the friends who'd she'd been texting.

Drew PeacockJuly 21st 2009.

It IS rude, all you have to do is excuse yourself, as in when accepting a call too (or is that another subject!?) and go to the loo, do it there to hide your poor manners!On a similar note I was once at a counter in a store arranging some delivery and the assistant held their finger up to me to be quiet when the phone rang and he answered it.I was shocked and was just about to tell him of his rudeness when the same thing happened. I put my finger on the phone button, cut off his call and then cancelled my transaction with them...I was spending over 2 grand on a couple of leather sofas!!!.

What's the big deal?July 21st 2009.

I can text without even looking at my phone so I can actually have a conversation at the same time. The other person doesn't even notice.It's like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. Practice makes perfect.

Steve FastJuly 21st 2009.

I like texting and driving. It makes an oft-times dull occupation so much more interesting.

Gordon Not-so-fastJuly 21st 2009.

I like texting and cycling. Through traffic lights. That's great fun.

Marie Claire BrumJuly 21st 2009.

I like texting and motorcycling. It's a challenge but extemely fulfilling.

Textual IntercourseJuly 21st 2009.

I tell you what is rude on a first date: texting whilst fornicating. Dreadful. After that first time I'll never do it again.

JohnJuly 21st 2009.

Luckily, most people who text while talking to you have absolutely nothing of interest to say, so you're not missing much. What is really amazing is the amount of slack jawed idiots driving whilst texting away, totally unaware of other vehicles, pedestrians, etc. as they decipher the vowel less drivel on their screens

smittyJuly 21st 2009.

@ bad ad for guys: I was only kidding. Sort of. @Konrad: you're a comedy genius.@Chick: where do you get the scramblers and can I have one. Or are you Jack Bauer?@Drew Peacock: I have done EXACTLY the same thing, except it was a computer, not a sofa!

ChickJuly 21st 2009.

smitty; just do a quick google - they range in price depending on the signal strength and number of frequency bands the work on. Works a treat though. Ever wondered why you cannot get a phone signal in some shops and stores? They'll have few of these dotted around the place. Can't for the life of me understand why every cinema and theatre doesn't have one

CasJuly 21st 2009.

I rant on man con while talking to my cat

CasJuly 21st 2009.

I rant on man con while talking to my cat

Ali McGowanJuly 21st 2009.

It's plain RUDE. Usually.

CasJuly 21st 2009.

I don't own a cat, how bizarre that someone would want to imitate someone they obviously don't like on a site like this?! Anyway back to the subject, I hate it when people pretend to still be giving you their total attention whilst texting whilst obviously not listening to a word. I was interviewing someone last week who got a text, heard the bleep, took phone from bag, read it and then put phone back. Whilst telling me of their past work successes!

DidsburyGirlJuly 21st 2009.

RUDE RUDE RUDE!! My little sister is the WORST for this, especially when we go out for a family dinner. ITS 2 HOURS FOR GOODNESS SAKE! Texting is killing conversation.

GrrrrJuly 21st 2009.

SO rude! The worst for me was when a friend was messing about with her phone while we were talking and i assumed she was texting (which was bad enough), but the next day I was time wasting on facebook and realised that she had actually been updating her status. Ridiculously rude and how unnecessary!

emma graceJuly 21st 2009.

It p1sses me off big time when people do this...it's one of those things that really alters my opinions of people. Honestly, it makes my blood boil. Like people who can't hold eye contact while you're talking to them. That winds me up an all...

ChickJuly 21st 2009.

I know it's a different topic but don't even get me started on people stuffing their faces walking down the street - OK nowt wrong with a apple or a banana, but eating a full pizza out of the box, a foot-long subway sandwich or a Big Mac meal. Yuk

TrevoeJuly 21st 2009.

I prefer chatting via text. You can get away easier then

Karen HJuly 21st 2009.

I was in the cinema last night and somebody - in a couple - was texting all the time. I had to ask them to stop and they both told me to **** off. Got an usher, they stopped, and they immediately started again laughing at me when he'd gone. In the end I had to move. Scumbags.

stab their tyresJuly 21st 2009.

Karen i would have loved to followed them back to their car and then on to their final destination.I know it's wrong and stalkerish but i would most likely have stabbed all four tyres leaving a note from the nice person in the cinema saying HA,HA,HA.I know it's unrealistic but you can dream cant you ?

east lancsJuly 21st 2009.

I thought the rule of Cinema Texting was that your phone should be on silent, and you should angle the screen so it's not distracting others. Maybe I'm just too considerate.

Reasonable RachelJuly 21st 2009.

I think 'Stab their Tyres' you might be taking that too far. I think you need help.

Karen JenningsJuly 21st 2009.

Its also rude to be listening to messages on mobile whilst in someone elses company. Would that be donewith a home telephone while someone was visiting?

IheartMUFCJuly 21st 2009.

why so rude? women can do 2 things at once, so shouldn't be a problem.. it's only men who have to fully concentrate on the 1 task in hand who might struggle. I can talk and txt no problem!

I dont think its rude?!July 21st 2009.

Well I never personally knew until now that it would even be considered to be rude??!! I am 19 but if a receive a text when Im with my friends or on a date I just quickly say 'sorry can you hold on 1 minute' I think its rude not to reply to somebody when they have gone out of their way to text you in the first place, dont get what the big deal is, only takes a few seconds to send a polite reply and that you will speak to them later because your out.

I dont' think it's rude eitherJuly 21st 2009.

I'm 18 and would totally agree. You can ask the person your with to hold on for one second whereas you are not in the position to ask the person who text you to wait without looking at the message.I think as long as you apologise its fine.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2009.

Colossally rude , nearly as anti- social as using the f- word with the same extravagance as an illiterate teenager . Just not smart on educated people who mistakenly think it sounds a bit ' street '. Grow up and show a bit of dignity !

MissBoobyJuly 21st 2009.

I think (to be diplomatic) this is rather a grey area! I voted no, because I think it's situational. If someone is not listening to me preoperly or is constantly ignoring me for the sake of a text conversation, thats rude. If someone ecuses themself for a minute to send one as happened yesterday, that's fine, I probably need to check my phone too!Mind you thinking about it, I tend to text whilst my companion has gone to the loo...Texting in big groups, completely acceptable as long as you are not in a 1 to 1 conversation

MissBoobyJuly 21st 2009.

On another note, I was waiting for a bus this morning to work and a horrible little sh*t just kept spitting, spitting spitting - he must have seen me glaring at him. I went from my normal 24 year old face to looking like a disapporving old bint. he kept on doing it though - the little scrote.I find this far ruder than texting in others company!!And talking with full mouths -There are so many more worse habits that we need to stamp out already argh!! I've wound myself up now!!!

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