The phone etiquette mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

So it looks like I figured out what ‘on fleek’ means just in time to realise that I am not. On fleek. I am very much off fleek. I have failed at fleeking.

Apparently, the people of the world are split into two groups – the cool kids and the dweebs. And the cool kids have just announced that owning a phone that makes any kind of noise is, like, total SOCIAL SUICIDE.

I’m not talking just leaving the typing sounds on, or rudely playing music while on a mode of transportation that involves other people (a crime for which offenders should be forced to watch one episode of The Big Bang Theory on repeat for the rest of their days). I’m talking just letting a phone ring, or allowing it to beep or make a delightful ding when getting a message. When you’re just like, around the house, or out in public. It turns out, anybody who has the audacity to let their phone make any kind of noise at any point has failed at being a human.

An article published on Fusion today by a trendy, young, on fleek hipster cool cat, described the absolute horror she felt when an older woman in a cafe answered a call after hearing her phone ring (GASP!). Fleek hipster cool cat then went on to announce some seemingly obvious rules that I had no idea were obvious:

“…let’s face it: only the most tech-backward among us still has their ringers on.” 

“Most savvy people know that their phones should be muted in public.”

“This isn’t just common practice. This is the law of the land now. It’s a matter of etiquette.”

“Who actually leaves their phone behind these days when they go to the bathroom?”

“Your phone is like a crying baby on a plane.”

“Shizzle bop mason jars homeless-man beards fleek fleek hashtag vintage swag chicka flippity.”

(Okay so that last one wasn’t real but that’s just what I hear when young, trendy people talk to me.)

I asked one of the young Mamamia ladies if this article was accurate. Is letting your phone audibly ring really, um, not ‘on fleek’?


“OMG. It’s so not on fleek,” she replied, as if she couldn’t believe I had even asked the question. “Why wouldn’t you just feel it vibrate? Actually, I don’t even need to feel it vibrate. I can just sense it. I know when a call is coming.”

Right. I may only be 29, but I’m certainly way past whatever standard of cool that allows for the ‘sensing’ of phone calls. I still, and god, I can’t believe I’m admitting this on a public forum but… I STILL SOMETIMES LET MY PHONE RING OUT LOUD. Not in an obviously obnoxious way – I’ve never let SexyBack play at a funeral, for example. I always have my phone on silent at the movies. But there’s a difference between not letting your phone make noise in situations where it’s obviously rude, and not letting your phone make noise, well, ever.

The secret to cool.

Sometimes, if I’m around the house, or my phone is in my bag, or, I don’t know, I’m doing something that requires the use of my hands, I put the ringer on my damn phone. It may not be on fleek, and it may be because I grew up with one landline phone in the kitchen that didn’t work if someone was trying to download a single picture from the internet, but I really don’t consider a person letting their phone ring to be a major crime against humanity. A crime against cool, though? Well, apparently.

But sometimes people just need to let their phones ring. DO NOT JUDGE US. WE ARE PEOPLE TOO. SOMETIMES I’M NOT HOLDING MY PHONE AND I’M SCARED I’LL MISS A CALL. So please, on fleek hipster cool cats, stick to weaving flowers into beards and wearing pants that look like they shrunk in the dryer so everyone can see that you don’t have socks on with your brogues. Just let the rest of us occasionally HEAR OUR DAMN PHONES RING.

Now, please excuse me while I go back to what I was doing before I started writing this article:

Damn kids.

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