Jul 172014

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I want to discuss a book pet peeve I have: when characters miss important things because they turned off their cell phones.

Who actually turns off their cell phone on a regular basis? I don’t. I don’t know anyone who actually turns off their phone these days. Maybe when cell phones first came out, but not now.

Most people I know only have a cell phone that is turned off when the battery dies. Even then, most people charge their phones whenever the battery starts to get low, so unless you’re using it all the time, it’s never off.

I know of people who set their phone to silent or vibrate, but actually turning off? Most people don’t even turn off in a movie theatre, they use the silent option instead. If they aren’t going to turn it off then, when their attention is fully directed at something else, why would they turn it off for no apparent reason?

Every time I see a book character turn off their cell phone for no reason, it annoys me. It’s just not a normal behaviour anymore. Plus, anytime a character turns off their phone, you know something big is going to happen, and there’s going to be trouble because that character couldn’t be reached. It’s so predictable.

Does this bother anyone else? Or do you regularly turn off your phone, so it seems like normal behaviour? Do I just have super techy friends?

  10 Responses to “Discussion: Pet Peeve: Turning Off Her Cell Phone”

  1. I can’t remember the last time I turned off my cell phone. I completely agree that anyone turning off their cell phone you know that big things are going to go down. It would be much better if they put it on silent, or better yet didn’t do anything about it. In most cases there is no need to even bring up a cell phone at all!

    • Yeah, often the mention of the cellphone is completely unnecessary and only serves to draw attention to the fact that the character is making themselves inaccessible.

  2. Yep! The only time I ever switch my cell phone off is during an exam or during a flight. I feel like it’s actually a pretty weak plot device if the aim is to build suspense. Predictable, as you say!

  3. I do all the time! I’m a freak, I know, but I HATE HATE cell phones xDDD

  4. It is pretty predictable. The only time I turn my phone off anymore is on airplanes and in theatres.

  5. This doesn’t bother me, but I also ONLY turn off my cell phone on an airplane when I have to. The rest of the time I put it on silent if I can’t have it ringing.

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