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Stop complaining about people on mobile phones!

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A blog post for those people who have no idea what we do on our smartphones...

This subject has been winding me up for quite a while now – people (particularly the older generation in my experience) complaining about us (the mobile phone generation) being on our mobile phones.

Stop it.

It really winds me up.

Yes, there are times you should never be on your mobile phone such as when driving, so yes please go ahead and continue complaining about that.  But, there are many other instances when it is totally acceptable and I feel the older generation may not quite realise the uses of a smart phone nowadays and what exactly it is we are doing on them.

So, if you’ve ever complained about a person on their mobile phone before, read below and perhaps think twice before doing it again.

Here are some of the many reasons someone might be on their mobile (other than wasting time browsing a personal Facebook feed, snapping food pics for Insta, or downloading goofy videos on Twitter, which I think may be the assumption and only thing people think people do on their phones):

To make use of free Wifi and use the internet (especially if you don't have it at home...)

When my husband and I moved into our new home almost 3 years ago, we had a total palaver with Sky trying to set up our home internet connection.  We were left without internet for a good 3-4 weeks.  Not useful at the best of times, but I run a business from home and my husband often works from home too.  

Our only option was to make use of local free Wifi to work/check emails. 

We decided one evening to go to the local pub to use their Wifi and thought we may as well go at dinner time and grab some food too. 

I could hear the comments from the next table – ‘how awful, they’re not even talking to each other, just sat on their mobile phones!

’Yes, I know!  Because that was entirely the purpose of our visit to the pub – to WORK on our mobile phones using the pubs Wifi for 1-2 hours. 

At other non-working times we have plenty of insightful conversations thank you very much.  But this was a ‘working dinner’ if you like.

For directions

Yep, these clever mobiles nowadays now come with maps installed.  So if I’m in an unusual place then I’m probably trying to find my destination by using the Maps app on my phone.  I bet you wouldn’t moan about a tourist looking in a foldable map to find their way, but this is exactly what I could be doing as I walk along the street.

To read the news

My phone is my newspaper.  I love to keep up to date around the world with the top news stories and I do this with the News app.  I doubt people would whinge about an old man sat reading a newspaper in the corner of the pub, but this is quite possibly what every person irritating you on their mobile phone in the pub is actually doing.  They could even be reading their favourite book or studying!

To work

It’s incredible how you can now use your phone to work.  I can be sent a Google doc to review and I can do this on my phone using the Docs app.  I receive emails on my phone which are from work.  I am also a mystery shopper and do this via an app on my phone

So if I’m stood in the middle of a supermarket on my phone and ‘not paying attention’, it’s most likely I’m reviewing the store and typing out my answers.  I’m not doing something pointless; in fact, I’m actually earning income from my mobile phone.

More things people might be doing on their mobile phones that aren't mindlessly scrolling social media...

Here are some additional reasons someone might be on their mobile phone:

  • To stay in touch with family and friends: People might be texting, calling, or using messaging apps to stay in touch with loved ones who live far away or who they haven't seen in a while.  Evn my Grandad uses a smartphone and WhatsApps us!
  • To manage their finances: Many people use mobile banking apps to check their account balances, transfer money, pay bills, and track their spending.
  • To make reservations or appointments: People might be using their phone to make restaurant reservations, book a doctor's appointment, or schedule a haircut.
  • To learn something new: Mobile phones can be used to access educational resources, such as language learning apps, online courses, or tutorial videos.
  • To stay organised: People might be using their phone's calendar or to-do list app to keep track of appointments, meetings, and tasks.
  • To shop online: Many people use their phones to browse online stores, compare prices, and make purchases.
  • To stay safe: People might be using their phone to call for help in an emergency, or to access safety resources such as weather alerts or health information.

Final word

I’m sure there are many other reasons why people could be using their mobile phone for something important, but these are the top ones I can think I use mine and sometimes get funny looks or comments!  Arg.

So if you see someone on their mobile phone, don't be judgemental, be kind and know they might actually be doing something productive with their time.

Direct your would-be annoyance to something worthwhile like pointless paper-wasting junk mail or should-be-illegal cold callers.