Column: It’s good to talk but not all the time ...

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I’ve made my feelings known before about people always engrossed in their mobile phones at the exclusion of everything and everyone around them.

Definitely one of my pet hates.

I’ll give you that they are incredibly handy gadgets and yes, I don’t know what I would do without mine.

Nowadays they are so much more than a phone – you can glean so much information just by punching a few keys; keep yourself amused by playing games; calculate your shopping bill; check the weather ... I could go on.

But it’s the way so many people seem to think they are permanently attached to their hand and are always looking at them.

More and more recently I’ve began to think that people like that are missing out on so much.

Conversation for a start. How often have you known someone look up from staring at their phone to say “what was that?” because they’ve missed what someone has said to them.

However, the other thing that’s begun to bug me is the fact that you can never really escape people now!

Before the days of mobiles when you were away from the house or work phone that was it, no-one could contact you. But now it’s a case of your phone ringing at all sorts of time and places.

Hands up all those who have been annoyed when you have been sitting in the cinema and someone’s phone goes off. Annoying or what.

Then there is the person who is in the queue at the supermarket and as the store assistant puts their shopping through they don’t put down the phone and continue to talk to the person on the other end. Now that’s the height of bad manners.

I bumped into my friend Irene at the weekend and, knowing the day before she had been at a funeral for a neighbour, said I hoped it had all gone off as well as could be expected.

“Well it was a lovely service, sad but with just the right amount of humour to lighten the mood,” she said, “but you’ll never guess what happened.

“Just at the moment when the minister was saying the committal someone’s phone went off. And it was one of those really stupid ringtones!

“It was awful. Everyone was looking at the man whose phone it was and he got so flustered he couldn’t switch it off.”

Now that’s the reason why on occasions like this, I always leave my phone in the car glove compartment. I couldn’t stand the shame.