In “What is it About Cell Phones”, a personal account by William Raspberry about his life surrounded by the buzzing and beeping of cellphones, and his fervent distain for them, Raspberry takes us to The Metroliner, where he and a few friends were headed to New York City. They happened to be seated next to a woman who talked on her cell phone just about the entire train ride. Raspberry found himself highly annoyed by this woman’s conversation, even though she wasn’t half as loud as he and his companions. He doesn’t understand why he was so annoyed by this, but is relieved to find that he is not alone in the sentiment. He goes on to tell us about a restaurant in Durham, NC. In this restaurant, they have posted a sign asking that patrons who wish to talk on the phone please step out of the dining room, even though the cell phone conversations aren’t nearly as loud as some of the person to person conversations taking place in the dining room, in his opinion. He comes to the conclusion that it isn’t about the volume of the conversation, but about the act of talking on the phone itself. He notes that people are gradually giving up on cell phone etiquette with each passing day, answering the phone anywhere they please such as church, the movies, etc., and he believes that things will only get worse. Raspberry closes out the commentary with an anecdote from an article Dave Carpenter wrote for the Associated Press, about a man at a concert in a night club in San Antonio, where an audience member’s phone rang. Not only did the audience member take the phone call, but he hushed the performer to do so.
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