The other night I went to a lecture given by Arianna Huffington. It wasn’t a talk on politics but rather, it was about life style choices and how she now lives her life…and why. One of the recurring themes was the insane habit of constantly checking your smart phone. I thought about a friend of mine who cannot stop checking her phone and decided that I wanted to discuss this in a blog posting. And then, coincidentally, a thread on a Facebook group covered this exact subject. My friend Jan gave me permission to share her posting with you. I can’t wait to hear your comments!

What do people think of those that are attached to their cell phones during the game? I will admit I use to pull mine out when the game got so very slow that I just needed to do something….I don’t do that anymore. It’s rude and I admit that. However, I play with those that will keep the phone in their lap sometimes and as soon as the game is done, they start to text leaving the turning over of the tiles, the mixing and the setting up of the walls to others. I don’t think that is right. In fact, now I just stop and sit back and wait for participation. I don’t have a problem with you having your phone beside you in case of an emergency. I totally agree if it is an emergency, you answer it or you answer it and say if it isn’t an emergency that you will call back later. One gal I play with after she honors us by putting away her cell, then takes the rack and proceeds to push all the tiles hard with it. Yes, I’ve been nailed a few times with her rack. Suggestions on how to say nicely to be nice? I’ve seen tiles crack under less force!! Am I opening a can of worms here???

Here are a few of the comments that have already come in response:

– I left a game because of cell phone use and that was before texting and e-mailing on the phone. It was just answering for unnecessary phone calls. The person who answers is the “enabler”. If they didn’t answer the phone the callers would not call. I remember playing before cell phones. It was great. Husbands didn’t call to bother you unless the house was burning down.

– One day one of the women got a call. I took over her hand. At the end of the charleston she wanted to take over. I said absolutely not!

– Just rude!

– Our Mah Jongg zone is “phone off” except for emergencies. However,there R those that always forget….week after week after week! Duh?

– I am so sorry to hear this. Until a couple of weeks ago I thought all of the women in our static group were ladies. Unfortunately, a couple chose to show their true colors the last couple of meetings and were just not very polite. This is a game. We can all choose to be polite to one another. Agree?

– We have a rule during our games, no phones! If someone is waiting for a very important call and it comes while we are playing, we do answer it, but that rarely happens.

– Drives me crazy! If it’s an important call, like a doctor, ask someone to play the hand for you!

– I find it extremely rude at any time (not only mahj games) when the cell phones are more important than the company you are keeping. Thus said, cell phones are only for an emergency when we are playing.

– So far no one has ever brought a cell phone to our games. We have no thought of doing that. When you play you keep your mind on the game. Unless you have an emergency.

– We just say” what are you doing?” We did have a girl leave our group because we finally called her out for picking up her cell after every time she discarded.

Jan commented again:

– I was thinking of emailing everyone in my groups and saying we should try to do a no phone zone and to just text our family members (children, siblings, husbands, etc) that we are playing and not going to answer the phone so don’t call or text unless it’s an emergency! I don’t want to say you have to turn off the phone just in case, and we have all been there with sick parents, etc. I just think it’s important to set up some parameters!

What are your thoughts on this subject?


7 thoughts on “TURN OFF THOSE PHONES!

  1. Phyllis Cusumano

    I totally agree about cell phones not needed at games! I can’t believe every Sunday they also have to announce to parishioners to please turn off cell phones. Do they need phones in houses of worship??? I play with 2 players who constantly have their phones on their laps during play!! I think I will have to say something soon!
    Very distracting during a game when they constantly look down at their “laps”!!! Phyllis C.


  2. tobyalice

    My policy is no phone during play or while I am teaching. The other night I forgot to make that announcement and there were two people on their phones WHILE I WAS TEACHING!


  3. Jan Egri

    Ann, I emailed everyone in my groups this morning proposing the NO PHONE ZONE while playing. I suggested we tell our spouse and children it is OUR time and unless an emergency, don’t call. Also suggested we allow other calls to go to voice mail, or if you really have to pick it up because it could be a parent, etc, find out if it’s an emergency and if not just say I will have to call you back AFTER we are all done. AND OF COURSE, NO TEXTING!! So far two have responded and have said YES! Let’s hope this goes in the right direction!


  4. Loretta Micheals

    This is such a tough one because we have people in our group who are responsible for elderly parents or other family members who could be in crisis. Luckily those people are thoughtful types and if their phone rings they look to see who it is and they don’t answer it if it is not the loved one in question. No one ever texts.

    But we now have someone who takes all her calls and even gets up from the table to have her conversation. She has said that no one tells her what to do with her phone. I have proposed to the others that the next time it happens that we simply declare her dead. She gets her autonomy and we get to keep playing.

    Not the greatest solution but I don’t like being held hostage to their inability to put their phone away for a few hours. It’s ridiculous! After she’s been declared dead a couple of times maybe she’ll make a new decision.


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