I noticed him texting during the meeting and afterward teased him about it.
“You texted?” I asked in a judgy-sort of way.
He answered affirmatively. I mean, how else could he reply since I had been sitting right next to me when he did it.
“You could have left the meeting,” I lectured.
“I didn’t want to be rude,” he said.
Hmm. I thought about his response. Didn’t want to be rude? Texting or scanning social media while our attention should be on someone in the room is not considered rude? Is that just because we don’t think the speaker notices our lack of focus?
So what if we had to read aloud everything we do on our phones in the moment? Whenever we receive a text, send a text, or read a social media post we read them loud and clear. Will that change our definition of rude?
For example, someone is delivering a prepared talk on knitting techniques. For me, that would be boring so instead I send a text and ask my friend, “What are you doing tonight?” I have to stand up and say that question as I text. Interrupting the speaker. That would be rude, right?
Or someone is telling me about their weekend. I stand up and say what I just read in Facebook. That would be rude also, right?
The point is rude is rude even if we think we are being covert. The moment deserves our attention, don’t you think?