December 5, 2013 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: OK to speak up when texting doesn’t stop

Kathy Mitchell
Reach Annie’s Mailbox

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Dear Annie: My husband and I agree that it is bad behavior to use one’s cellphone while in the company of others, unless it’s an emergency. However, he even thinks someone looking up information or showing pictures is rude. I disagree. He also feels justified in saying something to the offending party. I think it’s best to say nothing and simply not go out with them again. It’s too embarrassing to everyone. What is your take on this? – Tired of Arguing

Dear Tired: Showing pictures on your phone to people at the table is not rude unless it turns into a slide show. Looking up information is fine as long as it is pertinent, such as checking the time of the movie you are planning to see. It is also OK to speak up when someone talks or texts incessantly. Say politely, “Could we make this a cell-free zone for the duration?” If they refuse, then you can stop going out with them.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Waiting,” who doesn’t like it when the bank tellers chitchat with the customers. I enjoy the personal touch and suggest that those who don’t use the ATM instead. – Louisville, Ky.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email