It's super annoying, and we all do it. The guy in the meeting checking and responding to emails, totally ignoring the actual meeting and people in the room. The guy talking shop during dinner at a restaurant with his girlfriend, while she sits there trying to be polite while looking painfully bored. No, actually, she reaches into her purse and pulls our her own cell phone to check her messages. Better yet, notice how people in the Pacific Northwest tend to look down when crossing a street, rarely ever do they look both ways. It gets more fun when you have a person staring at their crack-traption as they cross the street. What about when you're in a conversation, say with two other friends, and someone's cell chirps or rings MID-conversation - and the friend responds to it. WHAT? Yes, that happens too. What gives one the right to throw all the rules of etiquette, honor and respect out the window because the crap-traption is ringing, dinging, and vibrating? (I get it, there are special circumstances when this is excused - but hopefully, you still say "excuse me" to those present before going there.)
The cell phone. The cell phone is an amazing device - a device that brings you music, Facebook friends, applications, porn, and games all in one - it's a source of learning, connecting - and endless distractions. What ever happened to quiet time? What happened to talking to your neighbor or enjoying the fresh air? Now we fill it with email, texts, a quick game of bejeweled, or a stupid you-tube shenanigan. Yea, so what, you've got a zillion facebook friends and you're communicating all day long with your friends. Yea. But why do you feel so alone? We've become a society that seeks emotional satisfaction from the internet - we're missing out on the real-life social experiences and starving ourselves of what we need emotionally. We've regressed. We need to RE-learn how to bond with each other humanly (via voice, eye contact, touch), to attach emotionally, cultivate a lifetime of real life experiences. The cell phone is a tool - a means, but can no way substitute for the real world around you. The cell phone distracts - and what we could end up with is a society of the 'absent-present': physically in a place but mentally absent, off in another world preoccupied by our crack-traptions. Is it all worth it - these superficial connections? Yes, they are (if done in moderation and with care for those around us). We are more and more connected to one another - across regions and timezones. Be aware and take the time to care for those physically present around you.
I'm very guilty of this myself - using the cellphone as a means to kill time, look "busy" and disengage from the world. It's time to realize/remember that these gadgets are machines, tools - and can not in any way replace true life experiences and real relationships.