Reader Rings Out on Cell-Phone Use

ADVICE

October 02, 2005|By HARRIETTE COLE | HARRIETTE COLE,UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE

Dear Harriette:

About cell-phone etiquette, I think there's an overuse of cell phones to begin with. Seeing so many people nowadays walking down the streets using their cell phones is ridiculous to me, but hardly rude or inconsiderate (unless perhaps they're yelling). Very noisy, person-to-person conversations among people at a restaurant is rude as far as I'm concerned; using a cell phone with a "normal" voice is not. Constantly using a cell phone when with a friend, for example, is rude. (I've had to say that to one of my own friends.) Using any phone while on the toilet is offensive to the person being called but only rude [to others] if it's a public toilet and using the phone delays others from using the facility. The bottom line is that cell-phone etiquette depends on the particular situation. Are there any so-called "cell phone etiquette" guidelines around? - John, New York, N.Y.

John:

Cell-phone etiquette is one of the many new topics that has emerged based on the needs of our contemporary society. You can look online to find cell-phone rules here and there, but common sense can be the best guide. It's wise to think about how you can spend time appropriately with people. Technology can be both friend and foe. It helps us to expedite many situations with relative ease. Without being conscious of where, when and how we use this technology, though, we run the risk of alienating the people in our midst. We need to strike a balance between convenience and humanity.

Dear Harriette:

I've been dating a man for eight months. In the beginning, we were both seeing other people. I decided I didn't want to date anyone else but my man. When we discussed this a few months ago he assured me the woman he was dating was in another country and that when she got back he would do what he had to do. Funny thing is, I knew he loved both of us. He would have to make a really big decision. Last week, I found out that I am pregnant. I'm happy; he's happy; our families are happy. I thought everything would work out, until I got the phone call. She's back. She found my number. Come to find out she was never in another country. He lied. But now I'm with child. I don't feel I should take the swords out and duel for him. He loves both of us and we both love him. What should I do? I want my family. - Eve, Staten Island, N.Y.

Eve:

What are you saying? Are you willing to share this man with his other lover? Is this what you want and believe is healthy for your life and that of your child? What does he want? He has lied to you all this time. Talk honestly with him about the future - how you will care for your child and what your relationship will be like moving forward. Make sure you define terms that will support your child.

Send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com.

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