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Miss Manners, Judith Martin, Published April 13 2013

Miss Manners: Electronic devices offer limitless opportunities to be rude

DEAR MISS MANNERS: We hosted a dinner for a female friend of ours, and after dessert we retired to the family room to watch a one-hour episode of a top-rated program. Our guest wasn’t interested in the show and proceeded to take out her phone and check email, or something.

I found this to be very rude. I thanked her for coming and switched off the TV as she departed.

Am I crazy, or has folks’ behavior become so phone-obsessed that they find it virtually impossible to break free of the darn thing?

GENTLE READER: Have you considered the possibility that you are so television-obsessed that you find it virtually impossible to break free of the darn thing?

Miss Manners is inundated with complaints about guests who use their telephones to talk, text or check email during social events, and has never before failed to condemn this rude practice. To prefer doing this to conversing with those who are present is startlingly rude.

But you started with the electronics, without warning and without consulting your guest’s taste. You left her to amuse herself, and she did.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.