Jeremy Hubbard (Reporter): I always sort of thought it was me when I'm walking down the sidewalk, or I'm at a theatre or in a restaurant, or standing in line, and I see people talking on their phone more. I thought maybe I was just being more observant. But the reality is it is happening more, and people are getting more and more mad about it, right?
Anna Post (Emily Post Institute): Yes, I think so.
Genevieve Bell (Anthropologist): Yeah, I mean the day is really mixed though. It's fascinating if you look at the way people's attitudes have changed over the last three to five years, for instance, in a place like this. Three years ago, it would have annoyed you a whole lot more that people were talking on phones around you in movies and in restaurants—and we've kind of made some peace with that as the devices have just gotten more 1)ubiquitous—but you're absolutely right. You notice it in others, but I bet you do it, too.
Hubbard: I do it all the time. You're right. So what is the…what's the most fascinating thing that came from this data?
Post: Ninety-two percent of people want others to have better mobile etiquette. That 92% isn't some unknown other. It's…it's actually all of us. So we need to kind of hold ourselves to our own standards.
Hubbard: So there's a guy, right there on his Blackberry.
Post: Well, you know, that's part of the interesting thing. You know technology itself isn't actually rude or polite. It's how we use it. So if you're not actually bothering the people around you, you're probably OK. But if you are, then it's time to think twice.
Hubbard: Oh but he, you know, he was on…on his Blackberry, checking his email or whatever, typing away, not being observant of where he's going or who's in his path…
Bell: Well, but there's also a difference between good manners and common sense, right? (Post: Yes!) A place where you actually want to say: there are things you shouldn't do 'cause they're dangerous, they're foolish, they're unhealthy, they're 2)unhygienic. As opposed to: there are things that you do that upset other people, that make other people uncomfortable, that create, kind of, discord and disharmony, which is always, you know, your particular kind of area.
Post: Very much so, although I think “unhygienic” marries with “etiquette” when it comes to people using mobile devices in public bathrooms! (Bell: In bathrooms!; Hubbard: In the bathroom, yeah.) And I'll say, you know, public bathroom or not, let's just go with “no” across the board on usage in the bathroom, please.