21 Mei 2010

» Home » The Jakarta Post » Letters: Mobile phone ethics

Letters: Mobile phone ethics

I couldn't agree more with Phillip Turnbull's letter (The Jakarta Post, May 17), titled "Confusing communication". The utter and slavish devotion that most people have toward the ubiquitous, and often tyrannical, mobile phone has reached truly alarming proportions.

Last Christmas, I saw a young woman totally absorbed in messaging on her mobile phone. Nothing would be wrong with that in normal circumstances. But this young lady was in the front pew of a church, it was Christmas Eve, and the pastor was delivering his Christmas message to his flock.
So, for this young woman, the messages she sent and received on her mobile phone were far more important than the religious service and the Creator Himself.
And surely many of us have had the experience of being very annoyed and disturbed by the infernal ringing of a mobile phone during a solemn funeral service.
If someone has an important meeting or consultation with me in which he or she deserves my complete and undivided attention, I turn off my mobile phone for the duration of that meeting. That is the least I can do in the name of courtesy.
And if there happens to be an emergency during the time my phone is off - and if it's a death, than it will be too late for me to do anything about it anyway. I myself sincerely believe that courteousness and consideration toward others certainly have their own rewards, for like attracts like.
Some years ago, during a meeting with some courteous Indian businessmen, one of the guests, who hailed from the northern part of the Asian continent, and who actually stood to benefit from that meeting, used most of the meeting time to freely and lengthily talk with his own business partners on his mobile phone.
Neither he, nor his Javanese wife-to-be, realized that this was a serious violation of business etiquette. Some time ago this same man and his wife departed from a place where they had been allowed to stay for free for more than nine months - without even properly thanking the caretaker and owner of the place.
Tami Koestomo
Bogor, West Java
opini the jakarta post 21 mei 2010