I text all the time—in a lot of cases it’s easier and more appropriate than a phone call. Whether making a quick joke, asking for an address, or breaking up with someone, sometimes a text is clearly the better option. But there are certain places where you simply should not text. These are places where the act is not just rude, but it’s rude enough to get you punched in your big dumb face (which is likely the appropriate penalty).
1. Movie Theater. At least when you’re in front of anyone. It’s dark, your phone is the only thing lighting up, they can read what you’re writing and they’re judging you. “i got sum cider letz pretend itz wine + partay” Yeah. They just judged you as “stupid.”
2. Funeral. Unless the person died from texting too much. In that case, it’s probably what they would have wanted you to do.
3. In the middle of any conversation with any person. You can’t interrupt a real conversation to have a fake conversation. That’s like disowning your family so you can play The Sims.
4. In front of Thumbless Greg. You’re teasing him! You know he’s sensitive about this stuff. And don’t go using any doorknobs either!
5. In the middle of a basketball game. Especially when you’re playing.
6. Drum set you’re currently playing. Come on. You’re just showing off now.
7. Shoot out. Especially if you’re a cop. You should probably be taking this more seriously. “OMG i am totes tired 2day. im a sleepy boyyyyyy” I thought the academy taught you better than that, sheriff.
8. Renaissance Fair. You’re destroying the historical accuracy for everyone, and that is very selfish. Put away the phone! Put on some chain mail! Get some fleas! Let’s enjoy history.
9. Church—wait for it—of Satan –Yes. I did make this exact same joke previously, but hey, some things are worth repeating. All I’m saying is, let’s show a little reverence for the Dark Lord.
10. In my room as I’m showing you that song I like. No, you need to pay attention, there’s a part coming up, it’s so good. Here it … right now … okay, no, it comes in a little later. Put away your phone, you gotta listen to the lyrics.
11. Beach. Let’s just enjoy nature together—we don’t need to bring technology in on this. Look, see that guy in the ocean? He’s totally peeing right now. You can see it in his face. Isn’t nature amazing?
12. In front of a television showing either Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. Seriously, you should pay attention, because at any moment stuff is likely about to go down. “no wut r U wearing? ;) :P” Whoops, you just missed someone getting their head cut off, and no, I can’t explain why it happened. This is all your fault.
13. Swimming pool into which I’m about to dive. No! Stop it! I’m gonna dive! Watch! You’re not watching!
14. Roller Coaster. Possible exception if you’re simply texting “AHHHHHHHHH!” In this case you get some points for style.
15. Anywhere where the person you’re texting is close enough to shout to them. Really? You’re in the same room. You have to use technology right, and you’re not using it right when you’re using it to be stupid. There is a possible exception if you’re using it to secretly gossip about another person in the room, but even then that’s a little too catty for my taste.
16. Hospital waiting room. In this case, texting is not allowed not because it’s rude, but because if anything this is the perfect place to have tense, worried phone calls while pacing back and forth. If you’re texting you’re wasting a very good opportunity. I don’t care what the call is about; make it dramatic. “Yes, Papa John’s? I need you. I need you here.” Wipes brow, breathes unsteadily. “I need you and your pizza.” Clenches fist, shuts eyes, single tear. “I don’t want any breadsticks.”
17. The front seat of a car. The front seat is not a gift; it’s a privilege. This is a situation where you should talk to the driver and make him/her feel important—they can take this privilege away. Also, don’t play the workday radio station—everybody hates that station.
18. In front of a payphone. Stop it. You’re making it feel bad. It’s an endangered species—let it go out with some dignity.
19. During a science class. Any other class, I don’t care. English? PE? Art History? Go for it. But science created that phone—show it some respect.