It’s a busy day. I’m standing on line at my local bagel place on University Place. It’s only a little after 11:30 am, but there’s already a line of folks waiting to buy lunch. I dutifully join the line and slowly move towards the counter. The guy in front of me is heads-down, fidgeting with his iPhone. We all move forward gradually. The gent behind the counter shouts out “Okay, who’s next?” By this point, the dude fiddling with his phone in front of me is next. “Just a second, please,” he says loudly without looking up. Okay, I get it — maybe this is a super-important text he’s sending. Some crucial business deal or message of utmost importance is being conveyed. There’s a pause that feels like an eternity. Finally, he looks up and orders a toasted everything bagel with low-fat veggie cream cheese then looks back down. Myself and the five or six people behind me inch up again.
His order placed, it’s now my turn, so I move up so that I’m now against the counter next to the guy. I order my bagel with butter (not toasted, please) and look to the right, catching a glimpse of what this guy has been doing. This entire time, he hadn’t been sending an important e-mail or texting some crucial directive to a colleague. He’s busy playing that fucking jewel game on his iPhone. WE ALL HAD TO WAIT FOR HIM TO FINISH A LEVEL OF HIS LITTLE VIDEO GAME.
Look, I’m crazy guilty of using my iPhone. I’m constantly checking my e-mail or Facebook bullshit or posting pictures on Instagram, and I do it a lot. That said, I like to think I’m somewhat cognizant of what’s going on around me when I do. I don’t walk and text or compose an e-mail at the same time. I keep my eyes up and forward when I’m walking down the street. I find it absurdly rude to carry on a conversation on my iPhone while simultaneously procuring goods or services. I believe in having the courtesy to give a clerk, cashier or check-out person my full attention. They’re not just drones to suffer my multitasking, especially if the conversation isn’t that important.
One thing I certainly DON’T fucking do is waste time playing little rinky-dink video games on the thing, let alone while holding up a goddamn line of people.
Next time you see someone playing a ridiculous game on their iPhone — on the street, or on the subway, wherever — slap it out of their hands. There will probably be an ugly confrontation immediately afterwards, but you’ll ultimately be doing that person a favor. Let’s all endeavor to take our heads out of asses, shall we?