Help me choose the wording for a t-shirt that pointedly calls people out on their terrible cell phone etiquette.
June 9, 2009 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Help me choose the wording for a t-shirt that pointedly calls people out on their terrible cell phone etiquette.

I've had it up to here, so I'm going to vent my frustrations via the time-honored method of blaring them out via t-shirt.

There are t-shirts out there, but most of them are oriented towards convincing people not to drive and talk simultaneously.

I'm thinking something simple, just text, like "Your cellphone etiquette is probably terrible".

I'm not looking for it to be completely dickish, and I'd like for it to contain an implicit out for people who take pains to be mindful of their cellphone use (i.e. the "probably" in the above quote").

Any grand ideas? I'm not planning on selling these, this is mainly for my own wear and maybe a friend or two. If I use your idea, though, I'll send you one.
posted by Roach to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (42 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Thank You for Using Your Cellular Telephone to Self-Identify as an A**hole".


..although, seriously, this sounds like a bad idea. You'll end up looking like a jerk.
posted by joelhunt at 10:39 AM on June 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Maybe I should Tweet you instead?

might not be enough context there!
posted by betsybetsy at 10:44 AM on June 9, 2009


I don't condone the idea either, but "I can hear everything you're saying" is one of the more gentle/ambiguous ways to phrase your objection.
posted by amethysts at 10:44 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


The one I remember from the subway just said "If you love your cellphone so much, why are you yelling at it?"
posted by jessamyn at 10:45 AM on June 9, 2009 [11 favorites]


If you're going to do it, why not go all out? "I LOVE HEARING YOUR HALF OF AN INANE CONVERSATION, ESPECIALLY HERE."
posted by adipocere at 10:46 AM on June 9, 2009


The world is not your private phone booth.

Bonus if you include a pic of a phone booth.
posted by soelo at 10:47 AM on June 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


I agree t-shirts aren't really a very effective medium for communication, but I like amethysts' idea. I would probably wear a shirt that said, simply, "I Can Hear You."
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:47 AM on June 9, 2009


Yes, everyone does want to hear your inane cellphone conversation.
posted by xdeliriumx at 10:47 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


"If you love your cellphone so much, why are you yelling at it?"

If you love your cellphone so much, why don't you marry it?

I'd prefer stick-figures illustrating things like talking on a cellphone while at a counter paying for something, or while in an elevator.

To the side of each stick-figure should be the universal "don't" circle with slash.
posted by odinsdream at 10:47 AM on June 9, 2009


How about Pat's bumper sticker?
posted by philscience at 10:49 AM on June 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


See Dick on his cellphone in public.
Don't be a Dick.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:50 AM on June 9, 2009


I honestly actually like your own idea. I'd probably even wear it.
posted by General Malaise at 10:53 AM on June 9, 2009


NOTE: Please turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices before entering my earshot.

NOTE: For the comfort of your fellow human beings [or just for the comfort of me?], please turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices before leaving home. Thank you.

If you can read this, you're talking too loud. [with a picture of a phone? I dunno.]


(but yeah, it could come off as holier-than-thou...)
posted by roombythelake at 10:56 AM on June 9, 2009


Or maybe, "if you can't read this, you're talking too loud."
posted by roombythelake at 10:57 AM on June 9, 2009


"Can you speak up? I couldn't quite make out how much you hate your job"
posted by rhizome at 10:58 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


"YOU KNOW WHAT'S EVEN MORE ANNOYING THAN 'CLEVER' T-SHIRTS? YOUR FUCKING CELLPHONE, THAT'S WHAT, STUPID!"
posted by box at 11:00 AM on June 9, 2009 [8 favorites]


Why not make it a visual of a clown (literally) in a business suit talking on a phone while being waited on at Starbucks?
posted by mrmojoflying at 11:01 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Indoor voice, use it motherfxxker" with a picture of a cell phone and maybe a toddler.
"Am I staring? That's because YOU ARE TALKING TO LOUDLY" with text growing taller right->left.
"Conference call at register 5... no wait... that is a stupid idea". (I couldn't really voice my disdain for people who ignore cashiers).
posted by syntheticfaith at 11:02 AM on June 9, 2009


If you must do it, then the stick figure idea is probably the best.

FWIW, I would be very likely to assume that you are a holier-than-thou prick if you were wearing any of these suggestions, however.
posted by Invoke at 11:03 AM on June 9, 2009


Thanks for all the great suggestions thus far.

I'm actually a bit surprised the comments suggesting that something like this, done well, would project any sort of holier-than-thou attitude. I don't care if some random self-absorbed cellsquawker thinks it's assholish. If it gets a couple of people thinking, or if it incites (as I expect it to) conversations amongst my friends and acquaintances about the implications of their oblivious cellphone use that they hadn't previously been consciously aware of, then it's done its job.

I'm not proposing wearing it to a job interview.
posted by Roach at 11:18 AM on June 9, 2009


"Nice douchey head-set...
Douche"
posted by Napierzaza at 11:26 AM on June 9, 2009


Is there some particular behavior you're trying to call out? You might want to be specific, 'cause otherwise you get "Hey, jerk! Stop acting like a jerk, jerk!"
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:28 AM on June 9, 2009


"Turn off the fucking phone and lead your life, jackass"
posted by Ponderance at 11:30 AM on June 9, 2009


"I can barely hear myself being passive-aggressive."
posted by joshrholloway at 11:32 AM on June 9, 2009 [21 favorites]


"Cellphones: It's only ok when I do it."
posted by bondcliff at 11:34 AM on June 9, 2009 [15 favorites]


A slightly different approach - you could print up some Shhh cards.
posted by O9scar at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


"Sir, while I do so hate to disturb what is no doubt a vitally important conversation, I would like to call your attention to the fact that the traffic lamp in front of both of us has turned green. If you could possibly consider moving forward, then both of us will not be stuck here for another traffic-cycle."

I'm actually a bit surprised the comments suggesting that something like this, done well, would project any sort of holier-than-thou attitude. I don't care if some random self-absorbed cellsquawker thinks it's assholish.

So, the thing is -- and I know I'm violating this at the same time as I'm saying it -- the thing about etiquette is that it is never polite to point out that other people are being impolite.
posted by Comrade_robot at 11:39 AM on June 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


I read this and was immediately reminded of Tom Lehrer's "Folk Song Army"...
If you feel dissatisfaction,
Strum your frustrations away.
Some people may prefer action,
But give me a folk song tshirt any old day.


If you want to "pointedly call people out on their terrible cell-phone etiquette", I would suggest actually speaking to the person in question when you see them behaving badly. Doing it via a tshirt strikes me as high-level passive-aggressive.
posted by DWRoelands at 11:42 AM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Over here in the UK we have quiet carriages on trains, if you talk on the phone people will tell you off. The most patronising telling off I have seen saw a young woman's phone go off, the 50 year old bloke, smart pink short and gold chain stands up in the seat behind her and says "Take it outside sweetheart, I don't wanna hear it". I'm not sure if that works on a t-shirt, but perhaps with an appropriate picture of a fat mouthed idiot?
posted by biffa at 11:49 AM on June 9, 2009


So, the thing is -- and I know I'm violating this at the same time as I'm saying it -- the thing about etiquette is that it is never polite to point out that other people are being impolite.

Yeah. Some indirection is called for here.

1) "Be kind. Be a txter."

2) "Good txts make good neighbors."

3) This list, tweaked to fit a tee: What is Cell Phone Etiquette?

4) "Hey! You got your conversation in my consciousness!"

5) "This space defended by Cell Phone Jammer."
posted by notyou at 11:59 AM on June 9, 2009


I really like box's idea, cause then you get the self-deprecating humour in there, while still letting people know they suck for talking loudly on their phone in public. I think it would be awesome if you heard someone on a phone in public, and then went and stood in front of the offending party and puffed out your chest. Awesome.

And I wouldn't worry about the "holier than thou" complainers in here, I think it's a great idea. Those folks probably talk loudly on their cellphones in public places.

And if you are printing up box's idea on a shirt, lemme know, I would definitely be willing to pay printing/shipping for one!
posted by Grither at 12:12 PM on June 9, 2009


I Can Hear You Now!
posted by ScaredOfWidths at 12:25 PM on June 9, 2009


"For a while I thought only the homeless talked to themselves, then I realized that idiots do it too" this may require a graphic.
posted by Gungho at 12:31 PM on June 9, 2009


I tell the too loud people that "it's a cellphone, not a tin can."
posted by sephira at 12:57 PM on June 9, 2009


Indoor Voice -- Use It, Motherfucker is AWESOME.
posted by scody at 1:34 PM on June 9, 2009


If you can read this, I can hear you.
posted by desjardins at 2:05 PM on June 9, 2009


I may be passive aggressive but at least I'm not on my CELLPHONE!!
posted by Weaslegirl at 4:55 PM on June 9, 2009


..oooh .. sorry missed Joshrholloway's... and it's better!
posted by Weaslegirl at 4:58 PM on June 9, 2009


yea, I really like Joshrholloway's, but maybe it needs to be a bit more specific, like:

"Could you please not yell into your cell phone? I can barely hear myself being passive-aggressive."
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:37 PM on June 9, 2009


Its a bathroom stall not a phone booth.

Alternately, its a urinal not a phone booth.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:59 PM on June 9, 2009


I like the plain old 'Hang up and live'
posted by pupdog at 12:58 AM on June 10, 2009


Hang up and walk.

See also. See also also.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:21 AM on June 10, 2009


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