Rudely Ignoring People by Reading has Gone Mainstream. Those of us who were the Original Rude People Want it Back.

Liberty Con Amie Notes

Think about it.  Used to be if you were hanging out at a coffee shop or even around the house, if you had something in front of your nose like a book or a computer, people wouldn’t bug you.  They might think you were rude, but they’d get that you were busy.

Now, with the world at our fingertips on our phones, we’ve developed a new culture.  One of people who comfortably ignore each other, even at the dinner table or on dates, in favor of checking our phones.

Most of the time people are lamenting the loss of personal contact and politeness in our society where it is not only acceptable but the norm to pull out your phone while talking to someone and flip through it.  I’m arguing the other side, the side of those of us who want to ignore you!

I used to be able to kick back when my dad dragged me to some boring dinner party at his girlfriend’s place and read on the couch, ignoring people for hours.  Now?  I try that reading on my phone and people take it to mean I’m like everyone else and they can just start talking to me.

I can tell you, as an introvert and a writer, this is very annoying.

If I’ve got my nose in something, it’s because I’m old school rude, actively trying to ignore you.  Not new school rude, just checking my phone while we talk.

So, dear normal people, please stop pulling out your phones and ignoring other people in favor of checking your Facebook, Twitter, or even this blog 🙂  Because you have made it impossible for those of us who were that rude first to be able to continue our ways of ignoring the world.

We were here first.  Ignoring the world around us with our nose in a book first.  And you stole our shtick and made it mainstream to rudely read in front of others.


4 thoughts on “Rudely Ignoring People by Reading has Gone Mainstream. Those of us who were the Original Rude People Want it Back.

  1. Reblogged this on Davetopia and commented:
    An interesting – if somewhat tongue-in-cheek – piece about reclaiming reading for the true introverts. But then, how could something by an author-lawyer not be both engaging and wry?

    I have a slightly different issue than Amie: a deep-seated need to read all the words:

    Words on your tee-shirt? I need to read them.

    Poster behind you with train times on it? I need to skim it.

    If there are no words in sight, I will be giving my full attention (or focusing on not). In fact, one of the first things I remember discussing with my (now) wife, was how she wasn’t put off by my habit of paying full attention to the person to whom I was listening.

    So perhaps leaving the readers alone is good for you to: it might be the only thing protecting you from truly being observed.


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