2.6.05

I'M RICH ENOUGH THAT I DON'T HAVE TO USE ONE. Miss Manners offers advice to people who are hassled for lack of providing hassling opportunities, now via cell phone.

Miss Manners knew it would come to this. It happens with every new toy.

Overnight, people switch from declaring its very existence to be rude to declaring it rude not to have one. Same thing happened with the answering machine: At first, everyone was screaming about how rude it was to have a machine answer the telephone, and the next thing Miss Manners knew, they were screaming about the lack of consideration in not letting callers leave a message.

So do not confuse the question of owning a cellular telephone with that of misusing one. The issue is whether you should have one, not whether anyone should. And in this issue, you are the only one who has a say. Others should be told, "I don't find it's worthwhile at this time."

Precisely.

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