As mobile devices continue to alter the way we communicate with one another, social etiquette seems to diminish. Cell phones, tablets, laptops and headphones are just a few of the culprits. What really grates our cheese here at TechnoBuffalo? Check this out.

Jon Rettinger, President:
Answering a phone in the movies kills me. It makes me die a little inside. Texting while I’m talking to you. Seriously, just wait a minute? Obsessively checking Facebook on your phone every 5 minutes. Your friends are not that interesting.

Joey Davidson, Video Games Editor
Bluetooth headsets. When used, the devices actually make everyone around them look stupid. Users look like idiots with these ridiculous earpieces glued to the sides of their faces, and fools like myself constantly assume that users are talking to me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reacted or responded to someone talking to a friend with a Bluetooth headset. Look, what could you possibly be doing outside of your car that requires a headset for you phone? You’re in the grocery store, not performing open heart surgery! Hold the phone up to your ear like the rest of the world. Keep the headset for the car when you actually need two hands. You don’t need two hands to push a cart down an empty aisle in Acme.

Adriana Lee, Lifestyle Editor
One thing that drives me nuts are short SMS messages blasted out in a string. It makes a cacophony of noise (or sets off an unwelcome, vibrating quake in my pants). Plus, how does the offending contact know whether I have a texting limit or not? As annoying as this is, it would be worse to have to pay for the irritation. Then there are the people who hold in-person conversations while texting or checking email (rude!) and users who insist on loud, tacky ringtones. Even if I liked “Who Let The Dogs Out?”, do I really need to hear it in a museum, restaurant, theater or train? I have a fantasy about taking a shoe, like that suited up guy in the Infuse 4G TV commercial, and pounding the sucker out.

Cell-Phone-MovieMike Perlman, Associate Editor
Anything that hampers the flow of human contact or interferes with a communal event sends me up a wall. For instance, I cannot stand people who use their phones at cash registers, restaurant tables, or on dates. If you must use your phone in public, take it outside or to a location devoid of other humans who might potentially interact with you in real life. I once told a teen who thought it was a good idea to answer her phone in a movie theater to “SHUT UP!” in front of the crowd. She then spent the rest of the movie texting rabidly to her virtual friends, most likely about how much of a jerk I was, but someone had to do it.

I also think it’s insanely rude to sit at a dinner table and text away or periodically check your phone every 4.8 seconds. When in the company of live humans, set the phone to vibrate and chuck it into your bag or pocket. Nothing says disrespect like a phone slave Gorilla Glued to their 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen. Also, I can’t stand people who take their tablets, phones, or laptops into Starbucks and react emotionally to whomever they are electronically conversing with so that everyone in Starbucks can witness their riveting virtual life. You’ve seen them before–the girl who sits in the comfy chair by the window giggling and smiling at her Sidekick 4G for an hour to show the world that there is someone out there who actually likes her. The guy using overly animated touch gestures on his tablet, as if he is painting a Jackson Pollock of social worth. Nobody thinks you are any cooler than you think you are.

Along with Adriana, my fantasy involves rounding up all of the offending smartphones and other devices and having a skeet shooting competition.

Emily Price, Senior Editor
I have huge issues with people who have phone conversations in public places where they should be concentrating or talking to another person. This happens to me in two specific places regularly:

1. Lines at store- No one wants to listen to you have a huge personal, or even worse a business conversation in the line at Starbucks. I always end up in line behind someone who is having a very loud and very inappropriate conversation, which they refuse to end when they approach the counter to try and order something (Once a person I was behind made the cashier wait to take her order till she was done on the phone. Forcing everyone behind her to wait as well). If you’re dealing with someone in customer service somewhere, hang up your phone, treat the cashier like they’re worth your time, and then place your phone call.

2. At the gym- There are quite a few people at my gym who talk on the phone while they work out. The talking ends up being yelling, since the music/machines are so loud. Yelling I can hear through my headphones across the gym. I secretly hope these people fall off their treadmills.

Restaurant-Cell-PhonesSean Aune, Editor-in-Chief
While I think most people have finally gotten the concept they should mute their phones in the movie theater, it seems that texting while the film plays is still lost on them.  I’m fine with pre-show texting – honestly, does any theater ever update those pre-trailer trivia cards after they buy them? – but once the lights go down, the brightness of your screens just become annoying, no matter how much you may try to hide them.  You can go two hours without Tweeting about how bad the movie is, I promise.  (Unless it’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull … wherein I broke my own rule and Tweeted for someone to please just come kill me to me make it end.)

Noah Kravitz, Editor-at-Large
My pet peeve is people using phones while they’re driving. Doesn’t matter what the laws are, doesn’t matter how mad you think your skillz are, doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a Bluetooth or using a handsfree speakerphone. Using a phone behind the wheel is dangerous – it distracts you from the road, and puts you, your passengers, and everyone else around you in danger. Seriously, whatever it is, it either can wait or is important enough for you to pull over and deal with it. And DON’T WEAR BOTH iPOD EARBUDS while you’re driving, for the love of all that is good! I am astounded by how many people I see driving around with two earbuds in. Are you kidding me? How can that be safe? A close second? People talking on phones in the movies. Seriously, you paid ten bucks to sit in the dark and talk on the phone?