With all due respect to Nancy Ludy (2/19, Letters), who thinks screening phone calls is rude, I will never be a slave to my telephone. If the phone rings and I am in the middle of something, it will not be answered. That is why we have answering machines, voice mail and (least of all) caller ID. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love my family or won’t listen for emergencies.
People seem to have phones surgically attached to their ears, so I don’t think people have a problem with answering the phone. I think it’s too easy for people to forget about the humans around them. The swift information age allows some to get your number without your permission.
When my brother came home to visit from the military, you better believe I didn’t answer the phone while we were getting caught up. He’s about to be deployed again, and that was precious time to me.
I work two jobs and pay for the household phones. I will not let them dictate my behavior, especially if I’m reading a good book, chatting with a visiting friend, spending time with my family or relaxing on the couch.
I don’t consider it rude to ignore a phone call if my child is telling me about her day and showing me her school work. To me, it is rude to interrupt her by telling her I have to get the phone so I can speak with a salesperson or whoever calls. That would send the message that the phone call is more important to me than her day at school. Therefore, I chose to “screen” my calls when appropriate.