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Mobile device use by guests . . .

Kate is always hungry Nov 28, 2013 10:48 PM

Is it just me or does anyone else find it rude for guests at a party to use their mobile device, exclusively, rather than talk to other guests? Your thoughts?

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  1. j
    janniecooks RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 02:07 AM

    Seems that those using their devices don't think it rude behavior, so at the particular event this occurred it seems that yeah, it might be just you. If it were my party, the device-using guests wouldn't be invited back, but since I'm in the minority in refusing to get a cell phone, I might soon find there is no one left to invite to my parties. So perhaps the best way is to either overlook it, or come up with a polite but devastating remark to shame them into putting the device down.

    1 Reply
    1. re: janniecooks
      j
      jlhinwa RE: janniecooks Nov 29, 2013 06:45 AM

      Being on electronic devices to the exclusion of interacting with people is rude, IMO.

      Our Thanksgiving day group consisted of our 12-year old daughter (who lamented the lack of kids present) and adults aged 33-75. When we sat down at the dinner table, I held up my phone, which I had just used to take pics, and asked if anyone else's phone needed to join mine for a timeout. My daughter surrendered her phone (she knows the drill by now), as did the adults who brought theirs to the table. I was thankful it wasn't a big deal to anyone, but we also had people present that for reasons too long to go into here, who were just truly grateful to be together.

    2. bagelman01 RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 04:12 AM

      Not just you...................
      We have rules about this in our home. Family and guests are informed in their invitation. Leave your mobile device in the car or in your pocketbook turned off. If you need to make a call or check messages, take yourself into a quiet empty room or outdoors.
      Under no circumstances are these devices permitted in the dining room. (This applies to our children as well as guests).

      Yesterday, my 11 year old nephew was sent away from the table after he was caught texting in his lap. He knows the rules, lives only 3 minutes away and is in the house a few times each week. BIL took the iPhone and told nephew he might get it back after New Year's.

      We are not so modern that we don't have a landline. If there was an emergency and any of our guests needed to be reached the landline could have been called.

      We did schedule a pre-dessert SKYPE break during which time the guests were invited to gather in our sunroom and several laptops were set up so that we could communicate with family members unable to make the trip home for Thanksgiving (25 yo daughter works on a cruise ship, mother is bedridden in a nursing home, etc.) This gives both time for a stretch after 2 hours at the table, and a chance to clean/clear the table and set with dessert plates, silver and coffee cups.

      24 Replies
      1. re: bagelman01
        mucho gordo RE: bagelman01 Dec 1, 2013 10:37 AM

        I don't know, BM. I have mixed feelings about this. It's family. You want them to enjoy themselves and not feel restricted by rigid rules. I can understand kids playing games or texting because they're not able to participate in adult conversations. I do agree that adults should know better and not have to be told.

        1. re: mucho gordo
          MrsPatmore RE: mucho gordo Dec 1, 2013 05:46 PM

          There are plenty of people who are required by their job to be on call. That (for some of them) requires that they have their company-issued phone on their person and answer when contacted. These people don't get excluded from anything at our house - to the contrary, we're appreciative of their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. We're grateful that they are willing to make themselves available to serve others, when necessary, even if that means getting an emergency call or having to answer a text in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner.

          1. re: MrsPatmore
            foodieX2 RE: MrsPatmore Dec 1, 2013 05:53 PM

            That is completely different than a guest excluding all others to focus on their phone

            its one thing for a first responder, er doc, etcetera to answer an emergency call or for that matter a finance person dealing with overseas markets. Being on call is one thing. It's another when that person is playing FarmVille, checking FB etc.

            1. re: foodieX2
              MrsPatmore RE: foodieX2 Dec 1, 2013 06:10 PM

              I didn't mean to say that those were the same things. But it is beyond my comprehension to issue an invitation to my home requiring the invitees to leave cell phones in their car or "turned off in pocketbook". This isn't junior high and I'm not the principal. I can't imagine sending such an invitation, nor receiving one. Rude behavior is what it is. And plenty of people expressed poor table manners long before the era mobile devices - just ask my older brother! LOL

              1. re: MrsPatmore
                bagelman01 RE: MrsPatmore Dec 2, 2013 05:17 AM

                It may be beyond your comprehension, but it is made necessary by experience. That last Thanksgiving that Mrs. B's youngest sister and BIL attended, they spent the entire meal texting each other and never engaged anyone in conversation or attended to their children. They ignored requests (made by both my wife and MIL) to put the damn cellphones away. They were given the rule with last year's invitation and chose not to attend. This year they were not invited, and they were not missed.
                Thanksgiving dinner in our home is a FORMAL dinner. It is NOT a relaxed prolonged gathering with kids in the playroom or den and others watching football on TV. Adults should be able to handle 2 hours of gracious dining, wine and conversation without their electronics. We dine at 1PM so it is after the parade and before football for those who wish to partake at home. None of the family had more than a 20 minute drive.

                1. re: MrsPatmore
                  d
                  DGresh RE: MrsPatmore Dec 2, 2013 01:36 PM

                  I agree. It sounds just like junior high to issue rules. If someone "misbehaves" feel free to give 'em a sideways glare, but please don't treat me like a 12 year old. I think I'm capable of putting my phone on vibrate in my back pocket, and retreating to the ladies room if I really feel I must answer it (elderly father, sick kid, whatever). I think that's better than trying to think of every person who might possibly have an emergency, and giving them the landline number of where I'm going. I thought cells were supposed to simplify things!

                  1. re: MrsPatmore
                    s
                    salsailsa RE: MrsPatmore Dec 3, 2013 05:32 AM

                    I think if people want to behave like children, then they should be treated like children. Absorbing yourself in your cell phone in front of guests is horribly disrespectful. It's like saying you don't care about their company. Heck, I'm sure if someone cracked out the newspaper at the dinner, people would have something to say.

                    1. re: salsailsa
                      d
                      DGresh RE: salsailsa Dec 3, 2013 06:56 AM

                      But this seems to be a "rule in place" for everyone invited, whether or not they have misbehaved in the past. If I (as someone who seldom receives cell phone calls, and if I do, it's probably rather important) was issued such a rule, I'd be insulted.

                      1. re: DGresh
                        s
                        salsailsa RE: DGresh Dec 3, 2013 07:13 AM

                        Unfortunately, that's how most rules come about. Someone pushes things to the limits and ruins it for everyone.

                        I can see both sides of the coin. The problem is once someone innocently checks their phone those who can't contain themselves think it's perfectly acceptable to sit and text.

                        I'm in your boat- check it discreetly but I've been in situations where I've had to threaten to "break fingers" if the given person didn't stop texting on their phone.

                        1. re: DGresh
                          Withnail42 RE: DGresh Dec 3, 2013 12:56 PM

                          Would you be insulted if someone had a no smoking 'rule in their house?

                          1. re: Withnail42
                            d
                            DGresh RE: Withnail42 Dec 3, 2013 01:32 PM

                            I've got an 83 year old ailing father who lives far away. His brother, sister, friends could all be the one who might need to reach me. I, quite frankly, need to have my cell phone on vibrate. I'm not going to give each of them a play by play of the home phone numbers where I might be. Am I supposed to sneak out to my car to check my phone every half hour? Sounds like my senior prom, but it wasn't phones. I think a no smoking rule is kind of different.

                            1. re: Withnail42
                              LA Buckeye Fan RE: Withnail42 Dec 3, 2013 01:47 PM

                              That's completely different. I can glance at my phone as easily as glance at the artwork on your walls. And if something needs my attention, I can excuse myself for the moment and step away. Just as you might step away to ask a question like "where did you get that outfit?, I love it,"

                              The OP said use the phone exclusively. That is different. I wouldn't invite that guest again, rather than impose rules on polite and valued guests.

                              1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                Kate is always hungry RE: LA Buckeye Fan Dec 4, 2013 12:28 AM

                                OP here. Exactly, I said "exclusively." Had I taken out my smart phone or my digital camera and taken a video of this dinner, it would be easier to see what was going on. It was not a formal, sit-down dinner. It was more of a buffet and you could sit wherever you found a seat. The hosts were not very hospitable either and did nothing to foster conviviality among the guests so I doubt I'll accept another invitation.

                                I don't want to tell people they can't have their phones on them or that they're forbidden to look at them after dinner but this 40-something year-old anesthesiologist really got on my last nerve with her rudeness!

                                1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                  PotatoHouse RE: LA Buckeye Fan Jan 1, 2014 09:30 AM

                                  Similar situation here. My mom is a heart and stroke patient a few times over so if she or my dad calls I ALWAYS answer. Also as a nursing student It not unheard of for me to receive a text or a call from an instructor to go to the clinical site and pull medical information on a patient in order to be prepared for the next morning.

                              2. re: DGresh
                                bagelman01 RE: DGresh Dec 3, 2013 01:30 PM

                                Don't be insulted, don't attend. A host has the right to set rules for invitees.
                                We also don't allow smoking in our house. You want to smoke do it elsewhere. You want to check your cellphone, excuse yourself from the table and go do it in your car.

                                And as for those who want to share pictures, etc that are on their phones, after dinner in the den is the appropriate time, not at the formal dining table.

                        2. re: MrsPatmore
                          bagelman01 RE: MrsPatmore Dec 2, 2013 05:08 AM

                          That doesn't apply to any of our invited guests.
                          What was the first thing my father taught me in business? Know your customers. I know my invited guests. There were 28 for Thanksgiving, and not one of them was in this all important, on call category. In fact of the 10 'working' adults all us us are professionals who own our own practice/business and none in the medical field. And as none of the three attorneys present practice criminal law, there was no chance of getting a call from the local lockup.

                          1. re: bagelman01
                            MrsPatmore RE: bagelman01 Dec 2, 2013 06:26 AM

                            BM, in that case, you have my condolences! I'm truly sorry that you live in an environment where you've found it necessary to set forth cell phone "rules" in a dinner invitation! That sucks. Hopefully your meal fulfilled all of your expectations and no one broke any of your house rules. I guess the reason that I can't understand all your rules is that no one in my circle of friends or family would ever, ever behave like that in the first place.

                            1. re: MrsPatmore
                              bagelman01 RE: MrsPatmore Dec 2, 2013 09:03 AM

                              MrsP
                              You can choose your friends but not your relatives, In our case the offenders have all been on the in-law side and aged 40 and under.
                              Two years ago, I physically took away a phone from wife's 27 year old nephew who was playing games at the table and didn't even have the sound off.
                              He wasn't invited this year. BUT his younger brother told me, You know uncle M, my brother just won't learn. He got fired from his job last week when they caught him playing games on his phone during a meeting with his bosses.

                              Holidays are a chance to teach the younger generation about proper behavior and social norms. We set a FORMAL table with a 7 piece place setting, specific wine glasses, etc. My 40 year old neice in law (who grew up in simple surroundings in the midwest) is an attorney, a partner in a huge international firm. She told me that she never would have handled the interview lunch it she hadn't learned which silver and glasses to use at our table ...

                              1. re: bagelman01
                                pinehurst RE: bagelman01 Dec 3, 2013 07:31 AM

                                ^^This^^
                                If we don't learn manners from our family, from whom will we learn? I'm with you, B.

                                1. re: bagelman01
                                  LA Buckeye Fan RE: bagelman01 Dec 3, 2013 02:09 PM

                                  A holiday meal where I'm given rules that do not reflect the era I am not trusted to distinguish between excusing myself from the table to answer a specific need and playing Angry Birds while the turkey is being carved, and I am expected to learn from my older generation about proper behavior seems like just what Norman Rockwell had in mind for the holidays..

                            2. re: MrsPatmore
                              melpy RE: MrsPatmore Dec 4, 2013 04:39 AM

                              But they should still excuse themselves from the table.

                            3. re: mucho gordo
                              mcf RE: mucho gordo Dec 26, 2013 06:52 AM

                              Such an occasion is how kids *learn* to participate in adult conversation! And to have manners.

                              1. re: mucho gordo
                                s
                                sr44 RE: mucho gordo Jan 2, 2014 08:04 AM

                                .

                              2. re: bagelman01
                                EWSflash RE: bagelman01 Dec 27, 2013 06:27 PM

                                BIL has the right idea. We've never had an egregious breach at the table during a big family dinner, fortunately. All the kids were clued in beforehand, I'm sure. Lots of checking into phones has been to show online comedy to relatives, but that's outside mealtime.

                              3. foodieX2 RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 05:14 AM

                                Exclusively? You mean they don't engage with anyone and just stayed glued to their phone? Yes, that is extremely rude and I can not think of a single circumstance where that would acceptable.

                                The today show did a excerpt on asking guests to take their shoes off and the overwhelming response was "your house, your rules". Seems like you need to set some ground rules if your guests think this is acceptable behavior.

                                In your case I would have approached the guest and said something politely. It's one thing to have your phone on hand in case of an emergency, it's another to ignore everyone in the room.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: foodieX2
                                  Kate is always hungry RE: foodieX2 Nov 29, 2013 11:34 AM

                                  Yes! Exclusively! It was a doctor about 45-50 and her 3 kids. It was at her BIL/SIL's house. I don't mind a doctor having her phone on in case of an emergency; not to completely ignore a live human in order to teach her son how to play a video game! I'd seen her at another event where we had a very nice conversation a few years ago--before her smart phone took over. It's like crack! It wasn't just her and the kids, her mother was on hers too!

                                  1. re: Kate is always hungry
                                    Ttrockwood RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 30, 2013 07:09 PM

                                    It sounds like a genetic defect. Although from the sound of the situation you shouldn't take it personally- she was teaching her son to play a game to avoid conversation with him too....!!!

                                  2. re: foodieX2
                                    Davwud RE: foodieX2 Dec 4, 2013 04:34 AM

                                    Never mind the phone aspect. To be invited somewhere and then completely ignore the people there........RUDE, RUDE, RUDE. Doesn't matter if it's a phone, a book or an MP3 player, whatever.

                                    I'm generally not a look at the phone at the dinner table person. At TG last week I informed people I was taking a few pics because friends back home were so interested in what was for dinner. I took my pic, tweeted it, put the phone away. All that was done before everyone was at the dinner table so some didn't even know.

                                    DT

                                    1. re: Davwud
                                      d
                                      DGresh RE: Davwud Dec 4, 2013 05:13 AM

                                      Exactly. The behavior is the thing, not the device. It would be just as rude to spend the entire time reading a book, or listening to your ipod with your eyes closed, or for that matter, chatting exclusively with the cat.

                                  3. melpy RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 05:27 AM

                                    I find it rude.
                                    Two of my guests were on twitter promoting their business while cooking. Left their sound on and it was very distracting.
                                    Then they were texting each other at dinner. They are 30.
                                    Then after dinner the 18 and 20 year olds were playing video games on their phones while the rest of the family was looking at wedding pictures.
                                    My stepfather in law has also been known to do this.

                                    1. h
                                      Hobbert RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 05:45 AM

                                      Exclusively? Yes! But...I had dinner with my parents, brothers, and granddad. We used our phones to show my granddad photos of my sister's super cute little girl who he's meeting next month, to sign my mom up for a word game I can play with her, to show my dad a funny video, and to show my brother (just home from a combat deployment) pictures of a trip to Africa. So, I can't say smart phones should be banned, but you shouldn't become a recluse when using them. If you're engaging with others, I say have at it. Hope everyone had a joyful Thanksgiving!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Hobbert
                                        girloftheworld RE: Hobbert Nov 29, 2013 10:11 AM

                                        hobbert-- i think this is a case of interacting using technolgy as a mere prop. that is an a horse of different color

                                        1. re: girloftheworld
                                          h
                                          Hobbert RE: girloftheworld Nov 29, 2013 11:01 AM

                                          Yep, that's why I clarified exclusive use.

                                          1. re: girloftheworld
                                            Sooeygun RE: girloftheworld Nov 29, 2013 11:39 AM

                                            In my house, at some dinners, besides the pictures, a smart phone is used to provide a bit of trivia or answer a question. We like our trivia and facts in my house, so an unanswered question can really bother us.

                                        2. girloftheworld RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 07:26 AM

                                          my mom has a basket by the door... with a note ,we ask you to join us in socializing in an electronitc free zone

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: girloftheworld
                                            EWSflash RE: girloftheworld Dec 27, 2013 06:45 PM

                                            To me, that sounds awfully controlling, but maybe in some cases it's necessary. I have to admit that I'd probably leave, in that case.

                                            Reminds me of the lunch-at-work friend that was going to have a New Year's Eve party and announced ahead of time that they would be confiscating everybody's car keys upon arrival, and would judge whether that person was fit to drive home safely before giving the keys back at the end of the party. An invitation is a set of instructions. If you can't abide by them, send your regrets. Needless to say, we didn't go.

                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                              Ruth Lafler RE: EWSflash Dec 28, 2013 09:39 AM

                                              Why "needless to say"? You'd rather spend New Year's Eve with someone irresponsible who doesn't care if their guests kill someone on the way home?

                                              I guess I know where your priorities are.

                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                foodieX2 RE: EWSflash Dec 28, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                I had a big "millennium" NYE party and the deal was you either spent the night or you turned over your keys. Knowing my guests (and others on the road) we all decided it would be better to be safe than sorry.

                                                In terms of an "electronic free" environment I figure their house/their rules, same with removing your shoes, etc. I do appreciate though when given the heads up so I can be prepared to take off my shoes or turn over my phone.

                                                1. re: foodieX2
                                                  l
                                                  LeoLioness RE: foodieX2 Dec 28, 2013 10:31 AM

                                                  I'd have to turn over my apartment keys to you or sleep on your couch?!

                                                  (kidding....but thankfully in other parts there are subways and buses and cabs and friends within walking distance)

                                                  1. re: LeoLioness
                                                    foodieX2 RE: LeoLioness Dec 28, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                    Yes, thats the bummer of living in the country! No street lights or sidewalks never mind public transportation. It would cost my friends who live one town over close to $50 bucks to get a cab, if there were even one willing to come out our way on NYE.

                                            2. John E. RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 09:04 AM

                                              I'm at a party right now, as I post this message....

                                              Yesterday, towards the end of the meal, one of my cousins got a telephone call. He asked to use the hosts' computer (another cousin) and it seems he got a call from the Malaysian office of the company he works for. My cousin is a computer/networking manager and it was not Thanksgiving in Malaysia. After about ten minutes, the problem was solved. What is funny is that the tech support guy in this case was a short, fat, white guy in Minnesota helping an east Asian guy with his computer system.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: John E.
                                                EWSflash RE: John E. Dec 27, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                Ha! The old switcheroo.

                                              2. juliejulez RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 29, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                I admit I use my phone... my job involves a lot of time sensitive matters and believe or not, stuff comes in on holidays. But, to use it exclusively instead of at least attempting to interact with actual people? Not OK and very rude.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: juliejulez
                                                  Kate is always hungry RE: juliejulez Nov 29, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                  I don't mind intermittent use to check voice mail or a quick fact but I do mind ignoring real, in-the-flesh humans.

                                                2. Ttrockwood RE: Kate is always hungry Nov 30, 2013 07:17 PM

                                                  I belong to the generation who no longer makes phone calls, myself included.....
                                                  In social situations it is acceptable to have your phone silent and either face down on the table or in a pocket. Acceptable use is only for photos or to settle a point of conversation by referring to google.
                                                  It is considered very rude even among these friends to look at your phone or use it while at the table with others.

                                                  If i had been the hostess at the gathering you describe that guest would no longer be welcome- obviously she had more important matters to tend to......

                                                  28 Replies
                                                  1. re: Ttrockwood
                                                    John E. RE: Ttrockwood Nov 30, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                    I think it is sad that there are people, a generation in fact, who no longer actually speak to their friends. I know this to be the case even if the people in question are within speaking distance with one another. The art of conversation is going to be lost, along with other social skills.

                                                    A guy in Minneapolis took action a couple of years ago.

                                                    http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/...

                                                    (I don't Facebook, text rarely, and never Tweet. I do fart occasionally.)

                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                      p
                                                      plaidbowtie RE: John E. Nov 30, 2013 08:44 PM

                                                      I don't know...how often do people write handwritten letters as a mode of communication? I think that the mode with with communication and conversation happen is a fluid and ever-evolving thing. It reminds me of the cycle of lamentation of the state of current music by previous generations.

                                                      Should someone pay attention to nothing but their phone while in other's company? No, I think that'd be quite rude- however, this Thanksgiving my large and crazy didn't all meet in one place, and various loved ones were catching up via cell phone or skype throughout the day.

                                                      1. re: plaidbowtie
                                                        John E. RE: plaidbowtie Nov 30, 2013 09:34 PM

                                                        Don't get me wrong, I do not begrudge technology. I use it myself, however I will miss the day when handwritten letters are completely off the radar.

                                                        A couple of years ago, I was on a trip to the southwest. I found some interesting postcards with early photos of the Navajo. I bought several of them and wrote personal messages on them to my great-nieces and mailed them. They were so excited to get those postcards. I have not done something like that in a while. Thank you for the reminder. I'm sending them postcards with Christmas messages.

                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                          hotoynoodle RE: John E. Dec 26, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                          i still send actual stamped mail for birthdays, holidays and thank-you notes. people are SO surprised to get anything hand-written it's really remarkable.

                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                            foodieX2 RE: hotoynoodle Dec 26, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                            I do the same and many of my friends tease me about it.

                                                            I have throughly adopted places like Evite for my sons b-day parties and casual work/school related potlucks though. I found that my success rate on RSVPs is now close to 90-95%, unlike mailed invites. Plus the pot luck sign up option is wonderful.

                                                            1. re: foodieX2
                                                              hotoynoodle RE: foodieX2 Dec 26, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                              i do evite also. i think it also helps that guests can see who all is invited and attending.

                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                coll RE: hotoynoodle Dec 26, 2013 03:51 PM

                                                                That's sort of sad, though.

                                                                1. re: coll
                                                                  l
                                                                  LeoLioness RE: coll Dec 27, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                                  So is spending a night with a bunch of dull people or people with whom you have a bad history, though.

                                                                  I recently sent an evite that included two sets of somewhat recently split-up couples. It didn't surprise me that in both cases, one half of each former couple chose not to attend. Who could blame them?

                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                    sunshine842 RE: LeoLioness Dec 27, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                                    why in the world would you invite both halves of a now-broken couple?

                                                                    If they're recently split up, it's only logical to guess that they really don't want to socialize together.

                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                      l
                                                                      LeoLioness RE: sunshine842 Dec 27, 2013 04:55 PM

                                                                      Because they are both friends of ours.

                                                                      I didn't want to take sides and not invite one (because I did that last year and this also incurred hurt feelings).

                                                                      There are only a few ways to deal with this, none of them good. Now I just invite all parties and let them know individually that I understand if they don't want to come.

                                                                2. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                  melpy RE: hotoynoodle Dec 27, 2013 05:50 AM

                                                                  This is why people say no to me sometimes. I tried keeping that part private and nobody RSVPed because they didn't want to go if they didn't like the list.

                                                                  1. re: melpy
                                                                    coll RE: melpy Dec 27, 2013 06:23 AM

                                                                    No big loss really, at least not to me. That's so selfish!

                                                                    1. re: melpy
                                                                      sunshine842 RE: melpy Dec 27, 2013 06:25 AM

                                                                      that's incredibly rude and offensive -- and incredibly juvenile.

                                                                      You are inviting the people with whom YOU would like to spend time in YOUR, and for anyone else to judge based on that is reprehensible.

                                                                      Anyone I caught making a decision based on the guest list wouldn't ever have to worry about making that decision again.

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                        hotoynoodle RE: sunshine842 Dec 27, 2013 07:19 AM

                                                                        not everybody is comfortable in a situation where they only know a very few others, or in being at a BIG party. some prefer smaller, intimate events and i am ok with that. i don't always have the same guest list.

                                                                        it's not my place to judge why people don't want to come to my house. if it's appropriate and i like their company i will invite them. if there is a pattern of no-shows or no-thanks, i'll stop.

                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                          foodieX2 RE: hotoynoodle Dec 27, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                          Agreed.especially for what I use it for-school and work social functions.

                                                                          My son is of the age where the majority of the kids are close friends with the same gender and therefore their parents often only know those parents. The attendees at our last cocktail social were almost all parents of boys. The "girl moms" said why go when they really didn't know any of the other parents. When family time is already stretched with work, school, sports, etc I can see not wanting to go to a party where you don't know many people and most likely wont be involved with them socially in the immediate future.

                                                                          Its one of the reason we try to have parents reps of both sexes otherwise the parties/get togethers get separated by gender line. Seems strange in this day and age but it happens

                                                                          1. re: foodieX2
                                                                            sunshine842 RE: foodieX2 Dec 27, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                            that is seriously sad.

                                                                            These same people will complain about not knowing parents of other children....but won't go to a party where they could actually speak with parents of other children in an atmosphere where nobody's scrambling to get the kids and their gear loaded into the car and on to the next item on the list of things to do and places to go.

                                                                            It had never occurred to me that anyone would make a go/not go decision based on the rest of the guest list.

                                                                            had I done that, I'd have never met my husband, nor many of my closest friends.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
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                                                                              DGresh RE: sunshine842 Dec 27, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                                              I might offer that it may be inappropriate to declare anything "sad" about how people choose to spend their precious free time. Is it "sad" if people don't attend religious service, or don't choose to cook home dinners every night, or create scrapbooks of family photos, or any number of other things? Any of us might think so about one or more of these, but in the end not many of us can "do it all". One might better say, "I relish the opportunity to meet those outside my social sphere" and leave it at that.

                                                                              1. re: DGresh
                                                                                sunshine842 RE: DGresh Dec 27, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                                                you are far, far stretching what I said to something bearing no resemblance at all to what I actually said.

                                                                                I said that it's sad and reprehensible to decide to attend or not attend a party based solely on who the other invitees are.

                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                  l
                                                                                  LeoLioness RE: sunshine842 Dec 27, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                                  Reprehensible?

                                                                                  I'll tell my friend that, who chose not to come to my Christmas party because her fairly recent ex and his new wife were attending....

                                                                              2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                foodieX2 RE: sunshine842 Dec 27, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                                I don't think its sad at all. None of these parents "complain" about not knowing the other parents. In fact I would say my sons schools is one the closets knit groups I have experienced.

                                                                                As a class rep one of my "jobs" is provide opportunities for parents to get together socially but it is not mandatory in the least. There are plenty of chances to get together with other parents both as part of school and away from it. If a parent, especially one of multiples, chooses to attend another child’s play, sporting event or for that matter just wants to stay home with their spouse on that particular night I think that parent is making an educated decision on what is right for them and for their family. If being able to peruse the list of attending parents helps them priortize I figure that is a good thing! We have some type of get together for the parents often, at least once a month so if you opt out of one there will always be another chance.

                                                                                Even as the rep I will ocasionally opt out. The idea of “having to do it all, all the time” is insane. Work/life/school balance is what I try to model to my child. No one is going to miss out on the chance of lifetime by opting out of a single event.

                                                                                1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                  bagelman01 RE: foodieX2 Dec 27, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                                                  Some of us are not interested in knowing or socializing with the other parents.
                                                                                  I am about to be 60. I have one child left in school. Most of her classmates have parents who are in their mid 30s. To put it bluntly 'I have neckties older than they are."

                                                                                  I find that I have nothing in common with these parents except the fact our children are in the same class. I am not interested in a social relationship/friendship with parents who are younger than my older children.

                                                                                  I will be polite and acknowledge them at school events, BUT please do me a favor don't push them on me socially. I have much more in common with the classmates' grandparents than the parents. In fact, I'm social friends with at least 5 couples that have grandchildren in the class.

                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                    foodieX2 RE: bagelman01 Dec 27, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                                                    thats my point exactly! They are not mandatory in the least and there is *no* pressure to attend. An evite goes out and thats it. Noboday takes attendance, LOL. But we are also a small school where in the 6th grade the majority of his classmates have been there with him since PreK so we are a pretty close group. It wasn’t until 3rd/4th did we start to see the split along gender lines.

                                                                                    Which is also why I don't thinks its "sad" if knowing who is comingto an event helps you narrow down which, if any, you choose to attend. Life is way too short and many people don't have the time to spend with the ones they love, never mind like. Why waste time at an event that doesn’t interest you or spend time at a morning coffee, a trip to a musueum or an evening cocktail party with people you don’t know well, and/or have no interest knowing.

                                                                                    And BTW I am in the same situation. I had my son at 40 and the majority of my sons friends parents havent even seen 40 yet. Makes for some interesting conversations!

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                      EWSflash RE: bagelman01 Dec 27, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                                                      Bagelman, I was somewhat in your boat when my son was younger. Then we decided for various reasons to send him to private Christian schools for middle school and high school, and for him it worked out very, very well. But I avoided social situations with most of those parents like the plague. I'm not a social outcast, but some people are so strange to me that I'd far rather give them a nod and a smile than interact with them socially, for so many reasons, and they had nothing to do with age or faith, either. I made some nice acquaintances and never mind the rest.
                                                                                      In other words, I feel like I understand that lack of commonality completely.

                                                                    2. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                      John E. RE: hotoynoodle Dec 26, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                                      I send birthday greetings mostly by e-mail these days instead of a birthday card from the drugstore. What I do instead is to dig out old photographs and scan them into JPEGs and send those.

                                                                      My father's birthday is coming up and I recently found a picture of my mom 'photo bombing' Vice-president Mondale in 1977. Mom has been gone now for almost six years and I know my dad will be amused by the photo. (I don't think the term was used back then.)

                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                        hotoynoodle RE: John E. Dec 26, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                        that's a great idea!

                                                                        1. re: John E.
                                                                          foodieX2 RE: John E. Dec 26, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                          Very nice idea!

                                                                  2. re: John E.
                                                                    girloftheworld RE: John E. Dec 1, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                                    which is why, corny as it sounds, I do "formal" dinner parties for my friends. At first I hadto use converstion starters written on popsicle sticks but now they are use to talking at the table and after dinner having "drinks" and playing a board game.

                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                      Ttrockwood RE: John E. Dec 2, 2013 10:33 PM

                                                                      I am not on facebook, twitter, or any other social media sites yet i am most certainly in the minority. I send texts, whatsapp messages and speak to my family on facetime from across the country.

                                                                      Technology is something i embrace selectively....,.

                                                                  3. Withnail42 RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 1, 2013 04:58 AM

                                                                    We have a rule no checking devices at the table. (with the exception of my 41yr SIL keep occupied which means less talking form her)

                                                                    1. LindaWhit RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 1, 2013 08:37 AM

                                                                      Yes, it's rude. If you're at a restaurant, "check in" by Facebook if you want, and the put the phone away. For the entire dinner.

                                                                      If you're at someone's home and you're constantly on your cell phone? It's beyond rude. Leave, and don't bother coming back. The only people who should be "on call" are doctors, or expectant parents in an adoption or someone expecting a transplant.

                                                                      1. m
                                                                        Maggiethecat RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 1, 2013 09:42 PM

                                                                        My husband and I don't have family in town, so I host a fairly large (15-20 people) Christmas party every year for our friends in town (this year's is coming up this Saturday, just for reference.) A lot of our friends, my husband included, are much more introverted than extroverted. They like to hang out together and socialize, but it's draining on them; it takes a lot of energy and concentration to be around large groups of people. They will attend my gathering and they will enjoy themselves, but after a couple of hours, I can guarantee some of them are going to start to get tired. As a way to sort of recharge, they will pull out cellphones, tablets, Nintendo DSes, or other portable devices and zone out for a little while. This allows them to tune out all the background chatter of other people talking and other activities going on, which can get overwhelming to introverts after extended periods, and allow them to relax. (as my husband puts it, "I just need to take a break once in a while.") After a little while of it, they'll feel better, put their devices away, and rejoin the main party.

                                                                        I don't think any of them have ever come to my party to EXCLUSIVELY play around on their mobile devices but I have had a living room full of introverts who need downtime all at once so none of them were talking and all of them were messing with their phones/DSes/whatever all at once. And some of them will be on their devices more often than others. But I wouldn't dream of asking them to turn their phones off or leave them in their cars; half of my guests wouldn't show up.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Maggiethecat
                                                                          hotoynoodle RE: Maggiethecat Dec 26, 2013 05:03 PM

                                                                          i know a few people who are cripplingly introverted. they don't go to parties. if they do? once they reach the tipping point they go home.

                                                                          1. re: Maggiethecat
                                                                            EWSflash RE: Maggiethecat Dec 27, 2013 07:00 PM

                                                                            My husband's fmaily is a loud, large, happy, noisy family and I love them very much. The "wall of noise" does still get to me every so often, and I need to escape for a while from time to time. But I don't need to check Facebook during those times, I'm already information overloaded, for heaven's sake.

                                                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                                                              sunshine842 RE: EWSflash Dec 28, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                              hubby knows that if he can't find me when his huge family gets together, I'm usually out on the back porch watching the birds for a few minutes.

                                                                              Even when we have big get-togethers at our house, it's not uncommon for me to sneak out the back door for five minutes of silence.

                                                                              It's never for more than a few minutes, and it's more and more rare the longer I'm around the piles of inlaws, but sometimes I just need a moment or two.

                                                                              (at our house, it's usually a tension release -- I love entertaining for huge groups, but it's good to take a deep breath and stretch tired muscles)

                                                                          2. h
                                                                            HoosierFoodie RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 2, 2013 08:15 AM

                                                                            I think it is rude but it is also a sign of the times. Particularly but certainly not limited to the younger generation(s). I see this all of the time, constantly by my nieces/nephews and those of their age (teens/early 20s). But I also know people much older who are constantly checking Facebook, text messages, voice mail, e-mail.... Even at formal, high end restaurants or dinners at home.

                                                                            A great game to play is everyone puts their phone "face" down in the center of the table. First one to pick it up or phone audibly rings pays the check.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: HoosierFoodie
                                                                              coll RE: HoosierFoodie Dec 4, 2013 05:19 AM

                                                                              And hopefully no one spills their drink!

                                                                            2. viperlush RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 2, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                                              I think it depends on your guests and the house rules. I don't think you should surprise your guests with a no phone allowed policy, but I also think that it is never polite to exclusively use a mobile device.

                                                                              This Thanksgiving before dinner and after dinner, when we were all mingling in the kitchen/family room, those who had mobile devices had them out and were using them.

                                                                              I'm one of those who instead of saying, "I don't know", "I'll have to remember to look that up, "or " I wonder" will pull out the device to get the answer. So this Thanksgiving it was to verify how to treat a burn (host scalded her hand with steam), the average age for shingles, the odds of a shingles occurrence, do you still need to shingles vax if you already had it, to check our football Pick'em League picks, and to check the weather.

                                                                              BF had his phone out showing his father the new traffic app that he now uses. Also he had it out to discuss cell plans and difference between providers with his cousins who are looking to upgrade to smart phone.

                                                                              All of us had mobile devices out to take pictures and share pictures.

                                                                              However, when it was time to sit down for dinner and when it was time to play Thanksgiving Jeopardy the devices were stored.

                                                                              1. PegS RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 2, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                                                Yes, it's certainly rude and it has nothing to do strictly with the devices. It's always rude to ignore guests around you, whether you're doing it by talking to someone else on the phone, watching TV, reading a magazine, talking to one person to the exclusion of all others, or staring out the window. I think the dazzle of portable devices has just caused many people to pretend technology creates super special exceptions.

                                                                                Obviously emergency situations, or someone who needs to be on call, are exempt.

                                                                                1. tcamp RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 2, 2013 01:57 PM

                                                                                  Yes it is rude. There was no mobile device use at my table, including the two teens. However, I will confess that after dessert, when the adults were sitting around the table, a few devices came out to check concert dates, locate addresses, etc. All part of the conversation, however, not used to communicate with other parties or carry on exclusive exchanges.

                                                                                  1. Uncle Bob RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 2, 2013 02:31 PM

                                                                                    Rude, crude, and sociably unacceptable. Period!

                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                      salsailsa RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 3, 2013 05:50 AM

                                                                                      I find it incredibly rude. I understand people having call phones for work. I'm one of them. I explain well in advance that I'm on call and most people are understanding as they would rather have me join them and have to risk leaving then not have me present at all. I certainly don't touch my personal phone while there. I am a guest and my host has gone to trouble to have me over, I should at least have the decency to direct my attention to the gathering at hand.

                                                                                      My neighbour had my husband and I over for a BBQ along with another couple we'd never met. The other couple were on their cell phones texting and net surfing the entire time. As a guest, I was insulted that I wasn't good enough company and I felt sorry for the hosts who were also getting only a fraction of their attention. My first and only impression of that couple was that they were rude and those were the first words out of my mouth when my husband and I left.

                                                                                      1. sal_acid RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 4, 2013 04:54 AM

                                                                                        They are rude, but you can't fix that.

                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                          Billy33 RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 25, 2013 03:46 PM

                                                                                          I find it rude. My 17 year old god-daughter summed it up perfectly when I was at brunch with her and her mum. Her mum answered a text (I'm used to her doing this and we've been friends since we were four years old and she is a lovely, considerate person so I wasn't in the least offended). But the conversation went like this:
                                                                                          God-daughter:"Mum, what are you doing?"
                                                                                          Mum: "Just replying to a text from a friend."
                                                                                          G-D: "Well, you've got a real friend here with you now, so put it away."
                                                                                          I thought that was so brilliant. She's a fabulous kid.

                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Billy33
                                                                                            coll RE: Billy33 Dec 26, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                                                            I might just borrow that line!

                                                                                            1. re: Billy33
                                                                                              m
                                                                                              Maggiethecat RE: Billy33 Dec 28, 2013 10:43 AM

                                                                                              I have always been baffled by the notion that online (or, in this case, text) friends are not "real." Just because you cannot immediately see/touch them, they are fake/imaginary? What if she had been answering a business text instead? Would that have been "real", because it was business? But friends are not "real" unless you are sitting right next to them?

                                                                                              1. re: Maggiethecat
                                                                                                foodieX2 RE: Maggiethecat Dec 28, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                                I don't think she meant it that way, more that you have IRL friend right there in front of you.

                                                                                                When I have friend visiting I don't take lengthy phone calls from other people as I think its rude, it basically states that the person on the phone is more important. I can tell the person on the phone I will call them back but would never tell a person in my home to come back another day.

                                                                                                Texting another person in lieu of talking to the person right in front of me is rude in the same way. I can tell the person texting I will get back to them later but would I tell person I made plans to lunch with we would have to do it later? No.

                                                                                                If I invited a friend to lunch and she spent the whole time texting someone else I would be hurt and would wonder why she even accepted the invite.

                                                                                                And yes I know there are exceptions, emergencies and caveats in every situation.

                                                                                                1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: foodieX2 Dec 28, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                                  "When I have friend visiting I don't take lengthy phone calls from other people as I think its rude, it basically states that the person on the phone is more important."
                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                  This is exactly the same way I feel when someone calls me, we're talking for a bit, and they get another call and tell me to "hold on a sec". They called ME - and then choose to take another call and leave me on hold while they have another phone call. Nope. It doesn't take that long to tell the other caller "I'm on another call - I'll get back to you." OR just let the call go to Voice Mail. So if that "sec" goes over 30 seconds or so, I hang up.

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: LindaWhit Dec 28, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                                                                    unless, of course, I *know* that friend is expecting a call that they need to take (appointments, etc) -- and that will take only a moment to answer.

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                      foodieX2 RE: sunshine842 Dec 28, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                                                                      Hence the disclaimer:
                                                                                                      <<And yes I know there are exceptions, emergencies and caveats in every situation.>>

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: sunshine842 Dec 28, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                                                                        "Only a moment to answer" is usually less than the time frame in which people remain on the other call. And if the person is expecting that call, I would hope they would say "I need to take this call - can I call you back in a few minutes?"

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                          sunshine842 RE: LindaWhit Dec 28, 2013 08:08 PM

                                                                                                          my friends are the folks I don't have to be rigid with, and I hope they don't expect to be rigid with me.

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: sunshine842 Dec 29, 2013 07:24 AM

                                                                                                            I'm not sure what you mean by "rigid", sunshine. Again, out of common courtesy and politeness, I appreciate it more when someone (friends or otherwise) *tells* me they need to take an important call and, rather than keep me on hold for an indefinite amount of time, ask if they can call me back.

                                                                                                            That is much more preferable then, when *they* have called me and choose to take the other call and keep me on hold for a lengthy period of time - that's completely inconsiderate.

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                              foodieX2 RE: LindaWhit Dec 29, 2013 08:41 AM

                                                                                                              LW, totally agree. It's not being rigid to expect basic manners.

                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2
                                                                                                                sunshine842 RE: foodieX2 Dec 29, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                okay -- e.g., I was on the phone with my friend when the expected phone call from her plumber came through. The call was originally simply to set an appointment, but evolved into a discussion of the plumbing issue with which my friend was suffering.

                                                                                                                The phone call took several minutes longer than she expected. I thought her neither rude nor inconsiderate, nor did I hang up on her.

                                                                                                                That's what friendship is about -- understanding that an unexpected delay is not to be misconstrued as some sort of slight.

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                  coll RE: sunshine842 Dec 29, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                  If it's expected it's OK. But that is seldom the case, at least in my world. It's like they're fishing for something better.

                                                                                                                  1. re: coll
                                                                                                                    sunshine842 RE: coll Dec 29, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                    my friends wouldn't do that to me -- and they know I wouldn't do that to them.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                      coll RE: sunshine842 Dec 29, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                      Then you are luckier than I am. Perhaps it makes my acquaintances feel important, they just can't seem to let it go to voicemail.

                                                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: sunshine842 Dec 29, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                    Then your friend should have told the plumber "Can you hold on? I've got another call on hold. Let me get off that call and come back to you."

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                      sunshine842 RE: LindaWhit Dec 29, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                      Why?

                                                                                                                      I knew she was expecting the call and I knew she wasn't making googly eyes at the plumber -- she needed him to come fix the plumbing, which makes the plumber more important than me at that particular moment. In that country and that culture, if you put the plumber on hold, he'll hang up on you and not take your next call, because obviously your plumbing problem isn't that much of a problem if other calls are more important.

                                                                                                                      Understanding things like that is a foundation of friendship.

                                                                                                                      People who consistently take other calls and leave me dangling aren't my friends. Acquaintances, but not friends.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: sunshine842 Dec 29, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                        Then in that country and that culture, if the plumber wouldn't afford me 5 seconds to go back to the first person I had called and tell them I'd call them back so I could speak to the plumber, I would tell my friend I'd call them back in a few minutes *prior* to picking up the plumber's call. It goes back to my initial response in this part of the thread.

                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                          coll RE: LindaWhit Dec 29, 2013 02:09 AM

                                                                                                          Yes that is my biggest bugaboo too. Especially the ones that put me on hold all the time, them I hang up on instantly.

                                                                                                          When I used to be in sales, I would NEVER put a customer on hold to answer another, just out of common courtesy, and it seemed to really impress them. Like it was so unusual. Maybe I even taught them something, who knows!

                                                                                                  2. Uncle Bob RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 26, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                                                                    It's rude! ~ It's trashy! ~ You can't fix stupid however.

                                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                                      rainey RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 26, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                                                                      OK. I'm sure I'm an outlier because 1) I don't like parties and avoid them and 2) my husband is on call 24/7 and lives by his contact with the people he directs. That said I really don't know what the difference is between someone on a cell phone and someone in conversation with a different group in the room.

                                                                                                      Is the person on the cell phone talking any louder than everyone else? Is that person hurting your feelings because they're not in a conversation with you? Do you feel you're owed an explanation for why they are required for something happening elsewhere? Is that person responsible for your experience? Is that person taking up any more resources of the gathering than anyone else?

                                                                                                      Seems to me the issue is between the cell phone person and the host/hostess and not other guests who should be able to carry on with those in the party mood.

                                                                                                      And, for what it's worth, I'm a 65 yo woman and not someone who grew up exclusively in a media dominated world. I just think mature adults should be able to adapt, accommodate and get on with their lives regardless of irritations.

                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: rainey
                                                                                                        mcf RE: rainey Dec 26, 2013 04:50 PM

                                                                                                        " I really don't know what the difference is between someone on a cell phone and someone in conversation with a different group in the room."

                                                                                                        For real, you don't?

                                                                                                        The person having a conversation with others in the room is showing interest in others who all came together to socialize.

                                                                                                        The one on the phone or email is not.

                                                                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                          rainey RE: mcf Dec 26, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                                                                          That's a possibility and another is that there is something else that came up that is more compelling whether that's a matter of interest or urgency.

                                                                                                          I understand that people can make the assumption that it's a rejection of them. But it could be painful social anxiety. It could be an urgent matter elsewhere. It could be someone who doesn't know anyone in the room roped into an event on someone else's agenda who is doing their best to try to cope. Maybe it's someone who doesn't speak English. It could be a person with hearing difficulty who can't focus on a single conversation in a noisy room (my particular problem with parties).

                                                                                                          In any case, the decision to take offense is a choice. If there are others in attendance who are more available socially what is the choice to focus on one person who has other business?

                                                                                                          Of course if you are envisioning a small gathering in which everyone else is in one conversation I can see that it's more in your face that one person is effectively absent. I am envisioning a gathering with clusters of folks in various conversations each of which includes some and excludes others without intent to offend anyone. In that case, the media bound person is just another group with one present and one at a remote location.

                                                                                                          1. re: rainey
                                                                                                            Dagney RE: rainey Dec 26, 2013 07:07 PM

                                                                                                            Wait a minute, so you DON'T think it is your business to be in other's business? I think we are a dying breed.

                                                                                                            I love your comment. I crack up at these threads in which people express anger, confusion, displeasure, resentment, sadness, or general unhappiness when grown adults act like, uh, grown adults. For example: They take a call. They season their food at the dinner table.

                                                                                                            1. re: rainey
                                                                                                              John E. RE: rainey Dec 26, 2013 09:24 PM

                                                                                                              The polite thing to do when reciving a cellular telephone call in a group setting is to answer the call while leaving to a more discreet location to continue with the call.

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                rainey RE: John E. Dec 27, 2013 12:17 AM

                                                                                                                Why?

                                                                                                                If someone deserts a conversation they were in to take a call leaving someone else hanging that's one thing. If someone is at a table face to face with the group and takes a call that interferes with conversation that seems impolite. But if he or she engages in a conversation of choice in a normal tone of voice and volume in a room where various conversations are taking place among different groups what is the offense? Who has been injured?

                                                                                                                When a few people split off from a larger group to have a more in depth conversation about some topic that the rest of the group has moved on from are they required to move to a different room?

                                                                                                                I don't believe I'm familiar with the type of social event most of you are talking about where everyone needs to be on the same page all the time. Nor am I at war with electronic devices. They've become part of our culture. Life goes on.
                                                                                                                It's all in the circumstances. And, if someone's company doesn't add to your life for whatever reason, no need to invite them in the future.

                                                                                                                That said, I had an opportunity to make my case. Everyone will have their own conclusions and that's exactly as it should be. Adios and best wishes for your New Year celebrations and the coming year.

                                                                                                                1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                  mcf RE: rainey Dec 27, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                                                                                  If I ever hear someone in a public place speaking in a quiet, unobtrusive volume into a cell phone, I'll be sure to get back to you. ;-)

                                                                                                                  No one here has suggested that everyone must be "on the same page" nor are we "at war with electronic devices" or we wouldn't be reading and posting here.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                    LMAshton RE: mcf Dec 28, 2013 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                    I see it here in Singapore all the time. People walking around in public, on the train or bus, or sitting in a park talking on the phone. Can't hear a thing they say. The only reason I know they're talking is because their lips are moving. Singaporeans have made talking on a mobile phone in public into an art form. :)

                                                                                                              2. re: rainey
                                                                                                                mcf RE: rainey Dec 27, 2013 08:07 AM

                                                                                                                Social anxiety, sensitivity to rejection, personal pain have nothing to do with discernment between manners and lack of them.

                                                                                                                I'm not a formal type, don't stand on ceremony, am about as laid back as a host can get. But I know rude when I see it, and I don't take it as a rejection, just as what it is, obnoxious.

                                                                                                            2. re: rainey
                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                              Lizard RE: rainey Dec 27, 2013 06:19 AM

                                                                                                              Why is it rude? (And we aren't talking about emergencies, which, as exigent circumstances, are precisely what allow diversions from protocol.) Because it suggests that you have no interest in speaking to any of the people who actually made an effort to be in that space and because it suggests to the host that you don't care for the friends s/he has invited you to spend time with. It is an aggressive withdrawal, that doesn't even have the benefit of social awkwardness. (I am an introverted sort who can find small talk agonising, but the fact is, when I go out, there is an obligation to be decent to those in one's environs. Or I can hide the old fashioned way: scanning bookshelves and talking to the pets and/or children).

                                                                                                              (I'm really curious what career your husband has that requires non-stop contact. I mean, I know doctors and even they get a break sometimes. Or... are you a president's wife? If so, I'm sure your aide-de-camp can bring you up to speed on preferred behaviour at public gatherings.)

                                                                                                              1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                rainey RE: Lizard Dec 27, 2013 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                "It is an aggressive withdrawal, that doesn't even have the benefit of social awkwardness."

                                                                                                                It's also relatively insulting to the people you're "engaged" with to be distracted by someone you're supposedly "not" engaged with. You don't see that that amounts to making them responsible for your behavior and experience?

                                                                                                                When I am at a party unless it's very small, I may only encounter half of the people there. If among the half I don't spend time with are people on a phone, standing on their head or checking on the contents of drawers what skin is it off my nose. As I said earlier, that's between that person and the host/hostess.

                                                                                                                And what makes you think scanning bookshelves or talking to pets is qualitatively a different behavior? If you ask me it's the same aggressive withdrawal you describe and happens because people are not up to something for whatever personal reason. it's merely more conventional very human behavior. And the rest of us manage to cope with that.

                                                                                                                As for what my husband does, you aren't really asking a complete stranger, are you because I wouldn't discuss that on a public forum. Would you? The decisions he makes he has to make himself in concert with those directly involved. He neither has an aide-de-camp nor would he rely on one when he requires the undistorted details from principals and when the quality of his decisions are reflected not just in significant monetary costs and opportunities but in the job security of the 30-50 people who are working for him on any given project as well the results delivered to clients and, ultimately the public.

                                                                                                                My point has been all along that fixating on the electronic nature of the distraction is rather silly. You may not want either of us at your party. That's your call and we respect it.

                                                                                                                Happy New Year.

                                                                                                                1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                  Ruth Lafler RE: rainey Dec 28, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                  "And what makes you think scanning bookshelves or talking to pets is qualitatively a different behavior?" Because your attention is still in the shared space?

                                                                                                                  First, talking to the pet is no different than talking to another person -- presumably something everyone is doing. Second, someone scanning the bookshelves is actually giving you a perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation by asking about the books (or whatever has their attention on the shelves). Oh, have you read that? I really enjoyed that (or, I've been thinking of reading it). Etc.

                                                                                                                2. re: Lizard
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                                                                                                                  BangorDin RE: Lizard Dec 27, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                  Good manners should make other people feel comfortable.
                                                                                                                  I wouldn't hesitate to join a conversation between a child and a party guest, and I'd be comfortable speaking to someone looking at bookshelf. But someone on a cell phone has put themselves apart from everyone else in the room, without actually leaving the room. Boorish!

                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                BangorDin RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 27, 2013 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                Of course it's rude to do what the OP described!
                                                                                                                Picture yourself at the last dinner you prepared for a group. One of the guests acts as described. Do you like it?

                                                                                                                1. w
                                                                                                                  walker RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 27, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                  I often hear the excuse that they need their cell phones in case some important issue comes up in their business (often, real estate). I ask them how Carnegie and Rockefeller did their deals without cell phones.

                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: walker
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                                                                                                                    Hobbert RE: walker Dec 27, 2013 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                    The world is vastly different place now.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Hobbert
                                                                                                                      Sooeygun RE: Hobbert Jan 2, 2014 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                      It used to be that only certain jobs were 'important' enough to require pagers or to be available all the time...doctors, etc. Unfortunately, these days a lot of employers feel that if the employee has a work cell, they should be ready to answer it whenever needed. This is certainly true in property management, even when it isn't an urgent matter.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                        Kate is always hungry RE: Sooeygun Jan 2, 2014 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                        I get that some employers expect their employees to be at their beck and call when they have a work cell so I wouldn't demand and confiscate people's devices when they come to dinner or a party I'm hosting. I like to presume that people are mature and well-mannered. I don't appreciate having an adult professional take out her smart phone and play a game on it in lieu of conversation. The hosts of the dinner we were at did nothing to foster any social connection at all but I don't consider that an excuse to a guest's rude behavior.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler RE: Sooeygun Jan 2, 2014 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                          Yes, these days important people are those who don't have to be at someone's beck and call!

                                                                                                                      2. re: walker
                                                                                                                        John E. RE: walker Dec 27, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                        They both had a lot of underlings at their beck and call.

                                                                                                                        1. re: walker
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                                                                                                                          DGresh RE: walker Jan 2, 2014 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                          Haven't you seen those movies where the big shot gets the telephone brought to his table at "the club"?

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                                                                                                                            alwayshungrygal RE: DGresh Jan 2, 2014 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                            How about the movie "Play It Again, Sam?" There is a running "joke" that one of the characters (played by Tony Roberts) who, every time he goes somewhere, has to call his office and give the phone number of where he is. "This is Mr. XYZ, I'm at xxx-1234." "This is Mr. XYZ, I'm leaving xxx-1234 and will be at yyy-1234 in 15 minutes." I'm paraphrasing of course but you get the gist of it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: alwayshungrygal
                                                                                                                              coll RE: alwayshungrygal Jan 3, 2014 04:19 AM

                                                                                                                              And the best is when his wife is leaving him for Woody Allen and they're standing on the runway at the airport ala Casablanca and he's rattling off a long string of phone numbers. That scene always stuck in my head. Things don't change as much as you might think!

                                                                                                                              1. re: coll
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                                                                                                                                alwayshungrygal RE: coll Jan 3, 2014 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                Yes! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                                                                                                                              2. re: alwayshungrygal
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                                                                                                                                James Cristinian RE: alwayshungrygal Jan 11, 2014 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                Tony Roberts is Mr. Christie. At the end of the film he's going to Alaska I believe, and will be at Frozen Tundra x, 1234.

                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                  coll RE: James Cristinian Jan 12, 2014 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                  After writing this, I had to rent it from the library. Just watched it last night, what a riot! And yes, proof there were always people absorbed with phone type devices. My favorite quote, Diane Keaton says we'll be passing the phone booth on the corner, should I run down and get that number too?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll
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                                                                                                                                    James Cristinian RE: coll Jan 12, 2014 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                    Forgot that one. Another scene I like is Woody Allen showing the real way to eat rice with chopsticks, and he ends up pretty much shoveling rice into his face.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: James Cristinian
                                                                                                                                      coll RE: James Cristinian Jan 12, 2014 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                      You should get it from the library and watch it again. A laugh a minute!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: coll
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                                                                                                                                        James Cristinian RE: coll Jan 12, 2014 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                        Forgot to ad I've go to see this again.

                                                                                                                          2. Ruth Lafler RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 27, 2013 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                            It's incredibly rude -- it proclaims that not only the people there, but the whole social event is too boring to hold your attention. And if you're not having a good time, by all means leave!

                                                                                                                            My mom sent out an email noting that their wireless internet connection was down and that people might want to leave their tablets at home when they came over for Christmas. ;-) My BIL in particular tends to get sucked into his devices and tune out the rest of the group. He's not rude so much as one of those people who gets lost in his head. On the other hand, the fact that my only-child 8-year-old niece has a tablet to keep her entertained allows the grown-ups to have some quality conversation without her getting bored and antsy.

                                                                                                                            At the holiday parties I attended I didn't notice any people glued to their devices, even the party where some of the guests were under the age of 25. BTW, my 21-year-old "nephew" thinks that being on your device constantly while you're with your friends is rude, so it's not exclusively a generational thing.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
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                                                                                                                              rainey RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 27, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                              Maybe it *is* boring if everyone's attention is riveted on one person who's doing something unexpected.

                                                                                                                              1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                Ruth Lafler RE: rainey Dec 28, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                Then leave. Problem solved. The purpose of a social gathering is to be social with the people who are there. If you don't want to do that, then don't go.

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                                                                                                                              LeoLioness RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 27, 2013 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                              Exclusively? Yes.

                                                                                                                              Do I think it's rude if someone occasionally texts/Facebooks/checks email during a party? No, not at all.

                                                                                                                              And finally, I have sympathy for bored teenagers who have little choice in how they celebrate their holidays--I fully remember that trapped feeling--so it doesn't bother me if they'd rather spend virtual time with their friends.

                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                                                hotoynoodle RE: LeoLioness Dec 27, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                there are all sorts of gatherings and parties and sometimes kids do get stuck without others their age. however, especially at sit-down events, how will these kids learn to behave appropriately and interact on multiple levels with people older then their peers if they spend the whole time on a device?

                                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
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                                                                                                                                  LeoLioness RE: hotoynoodle Dec 27, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                  I do feel it's rude at the dinner table, but otherwise? Eh, it doesn't bother me too much.

                                                                                                                                  Also, someone who is socially awkward is probably going to be so with or without Wi-Fi.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                                                    hotoynoodle RE: LeoLioness Dec 27, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                    if they're excused from dinner, i agree. it's no different than a single kid playing/coloring quietly. however, with it, they will never overcome it nor learn to find a better comfort level other than complete withdrawal.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
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                                                                                                                                      LeoLioness RE: hotoynoodle Dec 27, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                      As mentioned above, people who want/feel the need to have always found a way to disengage regardless of whether handheld electronics were available.

                                                                                                                                      Perhaps their nature isn't something to "overcome"?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                                                        hotoynoodle RE: LeoLioness Dec 27, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                        i am an only child and was (am) extroverted and so felt comfortable with adults at a young age. although i had cousins all over the shyness spectrum, we ALL were expected to be part of the conversation at family gatherings. when the table was cleared, we could run off and do whatever, but nobody had their nose stuck in a book during the meal. we were italian-american. meals were not 15 minutes either, lol.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
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                                                                                                                                          LeoLioness RE: hotoynoodle Dec 27, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                          Well, not everyone grew up that way and there's nothing wrong with that.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LeoLioness
                                                                                                                                            hotoynoodle RE: LeoLioness Dec 27, 2013 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                            i understand there are differing levels of social ease. children can be told to put the device away, but there are some parents who'd just as soon not have junior interrupting grown-up talk. that's the kid that is being denied the potential to interact with adults other than his parents. however, if you're all grown-up and would prefer to spend most of a party NOT engaged with others why be there at all?

                                                                                                                              2. EWSflash RE: Kate is always hungry Dec 27, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                No, it's not just you, at all.

                                                                                                                                1. girloftheworld RE: Kate is always hungry Jan 11, 2014 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                                  Here is one...Guests at a wedding
                                                                                                                                  They should not have to be told stay of your phone!
                                                                                                                                  dont stick your arms in front of the paid photographer
                                                                                                                                  this past weekend it was horrid and disrespectful...I couldnt even see the bride... I had an Ipad in my face! You could tell th ephotographer was mad..... and the bride was disapointed

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: girloftheworld
                                                                                                                                    John E. RE: girloftheworld Jan 12, 2014 01:41 AM

                                                                                                                                    Guests at a wedding, if for some reason are involved with the the 'official' wedding photogragraphs, should always defer to the bride and refrain from all photography.

                                                                                                                                  2. CindyJ RE: Kate is always hungry Jan 14, 2014 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                    Not only is it rude, it's totally antisocial. For most of us who are not professionally on-call, or needing to be easily reachable for other extenuating circumstances, there's no reason to be attached to wireless devices 24/7/365.

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