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The younger generation has their cell phone out everywhere – out grabbing a coffee, having dinner with some friends, viewing art in a museum, a day at the beach, cheering for a sports team, and even out on a date. They just do not put them down, but that is simply a part of today's culture. Cell phones now act as a security blanket in any awkward social situation.
So many people have pet peeves when it comes to cell phone use, but sometimes one person's pet peeve is the exact opposite of another person's pet peeve. People butt heads when it comes to texting and talking on the phone, because everyone does it differently.
But what is the correct phone etiquette? Is there a common formula? Everyone has a different opinion, but there seems to be trends in how different age groups think. Here's a list of the top ten.
10) The need to know now
Is it okay to write something down to remember it, and come back to it later? Can you wait until you get home to look something up?
The older generation's take: Everything can wait until later. Be with the people you're with at the moment, and you can let them know your findings later. They like to delve into conversations about who's right and who's wrong.
The younger generation's take: Look it up now. With a smart phone attached to their hands at any given time, why not? There's always a great opportunity to one-up or story top the other person in a conversation by knowing something that they don't know, with just the touch of a screen. Who needs a quality discussion when you can figure out what you're curious about now?
9) What cell phones are used for
Why cell phones are so much better than land line phones (do younger generations even know what those are anymore?), and what else they can be used for.
The older generation's take: Cell phones are pretty much for emergencies only. They like to have them along in the car just in case, or when they'll be gone for the whole day.
The younger generation's take: Cell phones are an extra limb. They're a way to stay connected to friends, stay informed about everything going on in the world and play Candy Crush Saga all day long. Cell phones are attached to this generation, and they can't make it through the day without them. Even if they're not on their person, they still feel the vibrations as if they were receiving a message. Now that's obsession.
8) How many texts in a row you can send before they send you back
How much is too much before it's considered stalker status?
The older generation's take: Who cares? If I need to say something, I'll say it.
The younger generation's take: Once. No matter what. And if they don't text back, they're never getting a text again.
7) When it's appropriate to use abbreviations
LOL, ROTFL, FML, TTYL, BRB....
The older generation's take: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!
The younger generation's take: Use them as much as possible. And not only acronyms like the ones above, but they like to abbreviate words as well – shortening words like totally (totes), usually (uje) and crazy (cray). Whenever they can find a way to spend less time on a message, they will use it.
6) Stance on multitasking
People have opinions about how good they are at multitasking. Most people are wrong.
The older generation's take: They don't pretend that they can multitask. They won't talk to you if they're texting someone else, they won't talk on the phone and cook dinner and they won't surf the internet and talk or text at the same time.
The younger generation's take: They all think they are the best multitaskers ever. Even though studies have shown that the young technological generation is terrible at multitasking, kids these days will talk on the phone using ear buds and text a message to someone else – all while playing Angry Birds on the computer. They're completely tuned-out.
5) When to text and when to call
This one isn't really consistent across the generations. Some people, both old and young alike, will send a text no matter what. Even if it's a back-and-forth conversation that would be much more efficient if they just picked up the phone, they'd rather type messages into their phones than have a real conversation. On the other hand, there are others who consider that absurd and call whenever important details or scheduling matters are involved.
4) Punctuation and spelling use
"Let's eat, grandpa" or "Let's eat grandpa?!" Is it okay if you spell something incorrectly or disregard punctuation?
The older generation's take: Absolutely not. Use a question mark if you're asking a question, and don't forget a period if you're done with your thought.
The younger generation's take: That's what spell check is for. They love sending out texts without punctuation and with silly auto-correct phrases.
3) How long you should wait after someone sends you a text
Someone sends a text, and then the other person wonders if they can send a message back immediately or wait an hour or so.
The older generation's take: The whole point of texting is that it doesn't require an immediate response. When they have a free moment, and they happen to glance at their screen, they'll get to it. Otherwise, the conversation can wait. On the other hand, if they're holding their phone and they receive a text, they'll answer right away, without even thinking about it. They don't need to waste time stressing over when the appropriate time to respond to someone is.
The younger generation's take: Especially when texting someone of the opposite sex back, this can be a serious cause for concern and worry. I once heard someone cite the rule that if a boy takes 15 minutes to text you back, you should then wait double that time to reply, waiting 30 minutes to grace him with a text.
2) What it means when someone doesn't text you back right away
Someone has waited over an hour to text you back, is that acceptable?
The older generation's take: “I'm old, I didn't hear it.” They don't even think twice about what it means when the other person doesn't give an immediate response. If they get a text the next day, it's still great that they responded at all.
The younger generation's take: “Why do they hate me?” or “Why are they mad at me?” The younger generation takes their phone with them to the bathroom, in the weight room, everywhere.
1) The “K” text
This is when you are having a conversation via text and one party simply replies, “K.” Nothing else, just, “K.”
The older generation's take: This is perfectly acceptable. I have nothing else to say, and I really think that's okay. I just want to send a quick text, and I think I'm cool for abbreviating a phrase.
The younger generation's take: This is NOT okay. “K” is the laziest text you can get, and shows that the person doesn't care at all about the conversation. We even go so far as to think thoughts such as, “Why are they so upset?” and “Why do they hate me?”
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons