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AIBU to think my sister is taking the mobile phone house "ban" too far?

(60 Posts)
PinkHat1 Tue 17-Dec-13 09:40:27

We're going to my sister's house for Christmas (Christmas Eve to Boxing day) and she called me to say that they have introduced a new house rule of no mobile phones being turned on in the house. She has 2 kids (7 and 10) each with a mobile and her husband has an iPad and BlackBerry for work. She says that to try and get some proper family time, phones and tablets must be switched off over Christmas. I understand her point, but think she's being a little extreme. I don't have kids but do have an iPad and iPhone... I told her that I thought her new "house rule" was going a bit far, but she said it is no different than me asking everyone to take their shoes off in my house (which I do). I've been thinking about this for a few days now and it's starting to bug me. Can I just refuse?

struggling100 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:24:36

Definitely second the 'silent-mode-and-check-on-the-loo' advice!

It's your sister's house, so her rules... and it's not unreasonable for her to want her children to get out of the habit of looking at screens constantly and instead to interact with those around them.

Obviously, if there is an emergency, she would need to make an exception. And if there are people you need to ring and wish a merry Christmas, I'm sure she'd understand that too.

fluffyraggies Tue 17-Dec-13 10:29:07

I'd put it on silent for texts etc. but leave it on for actual calls.

If there is anyone in your life who might have an emergency they can still get hold of you. Texts/emails can wait a couple of days to be answered.

Understandable that she doesn't want you keep looking at stuff on your phones/ipads, but cheeky to say you cant receive any phone calls. Is she ripping out her land line for 3 days? Thought not.

DeWe Tue 17-Dec-13 10:30:20

I think it's reasonable to ask that you only check your phone in private. Which is what you'll effectively be doing. I can't imagine she's going to notice or indeed mind if you check privately.

Anouncing at the dinner table "Aunty X has just texted and sends her love" is probably provocative. grin

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 17-Dec-13 10:34:22

I'm completely on your sister's side. I don't suppose she's going to have some magic mobile phone sensor to make sure yours isn't switched on, and I don't suppose she really gives a shit. But I bet she's had to fight with her family to get them to agree to a bit of uninterrupted time together, and if your phone is beeping/buzzing, or you're sending texts, checking Facebook during the day, it's only going to undermine her. And for the sake of one day? What, exactly, do you think you or your friends are going to say to each other that can't wait?

Not the same at all as shoes off in the house: now that is unreasonable fgrin

FunnyFestiveTableRunner Tue 17-Dec-13 10:34:33

Do you have form for visiting her house and sitting scrolling through texts or MNing in the living room? I think it is fair enough during the day (in emergencies people can reach the landline) but once you are up in your room for the night I don't think there's much she can do about it (she may turn off the Wi-Fi though so you might want to save your mobile data allowance!)

I do find the whole intrusion of texts and phone calls irritating at times. Most messages on Christmas Day are just merry Christmas messages which can easily wait till that evening.

FunnyFestiveTableRunner Tue 17-Dec-13 10:36:11

Yes and I agree with brownsauce - don't undermine her when she has obviously had a fight to carve out family time. If her husband is usually 'on call' for work (even unofficially) she is probably trying to create a very definite family time. It's not fair to undermine her in front of the kids but up in your room at bedtime I don't see a problem.

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 17-Dec-13 10:42:44

Why would you need to be on your phone in company?
Switch it onto silent/ vibrate and check it when you are out of the room. I have a friend who answers her phone/ texts constantly when we are together. She is V rude IMHO.

uncomfortablydumb Tue 17-Dec-13 10:54:48

DeWe grin

Tulip26 Tue 17-Dec-13 11:01:35

Is she 1. A control freak or is she 2. trying to get peaceful family time? I would say it sounds like the first but she's using the second to justify it.

friday16 Tue 17-Dec-13 11:03:01

She wants consistency for her DC.

Then she shouldn't invite other adults.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Tue 17-Dec-13 11:03:17

I can't see a problem with it

In fact I must remember to put my ipad down over Christmas

I was sat watching a film with the children the other day and 3 out of 4 of use were on iPads or touchs sad

May bring in family time....thank your SIL for me, that's not meant to be snarky

Hope you have a good Christmas

whois Tue 17-Dec-13 11:05:58

I think it's a stupid idea for adults. DP and I spend Christmas apart and I would be bloody annoyed if my sister told me I wasn't allowed to contact him over Christmas! No harm in exchanging the odd text during the day and calling for a catch up on each other's Christmas!

eurochick Tue 17-Dec-13 11:13:09

I think it's a silly idea. Much better to demonstrate to her how phones and tablets can be used sensibly. Family would be calling me to wish me merry christmas/thank me for gifts and I would want to do the same. Asking you not to be glued to it would be reasonable.

thebody Tue 17-Dec-13 11:16:55

I really wouldn't worry, her kids are 7 and 10 so she's got a lot to learn. grin

personally I would worry about anyone that controlling really.

don't you have parents or other older relatives that may need to contact you at any time.

thebody Tue 17-Dec-13 11:19:00

oh to add being on a phone and texting constantly is bloody rude but by banning things she's not teaching her children self control.

DowntonTrout Tue 17-Dec-13 11:20:16

I think she has brought this "rule" in for her DCs and has extended it to everyone.

It's one thing banning phones at the table or in family time/company but quite another to restrict and control adults in this way.

I would find this difficult. It's Christmas, I will want to take photos. If I was staying away from home there would be a number of people I would want to talk to over Christmas. Including family abroad- who we would FaceTime or Skype, and who will want to "see" DCs on Christmas day.

Plus my DH will have his phone switched on as he will need to deal with any business emergencies. That would be non negotiable. Just because it's our Christmas doesn't mean it is everywhere in the world.

Katiepoes Tue 17-Dec-13 12:21:35

I think it's taking things a bit far but I also think it's just a reaction to the fact that more and more people never leave off messing with the wretched things. I know far too many people who simply cannot put them down - and now here there is an actual campaign telling people not to use Facebook/Whatsapp etc while driving! If grown men and women need to be told not to be that stupid while behind the wheel of a car it's hardly surprising people feel the need to blanket ban them for a while.

beanandspud Tue 17-Dec-13 13:23:52

The sentiment (family time, being in the present, not spending the day on Twitter/FB) is absolutely fine - it's the way that it has been communicated that seems very heavy handed.

GrendelsMum Tue 17-Dec-13 13:29:47

I think it's a great idea - I wouldn't be surprised if the issue isn't that her DH is constantly online for "work" etc, and the rest of the family is feeling increasingly neglected as a result. Brilliant idea to get everyone back talking face to face again.

NotYoMomma Tue 17-Dec-13 13:35:38

I would go along with her tbh, what do you need it for? people (myself included!) are constantly on phones/ tablets /pcs these days

dreamingofsun Tue 17-Dec-13 13:36:52

is she also unplussing the landline? surely if you ban mobiles you should also ban any phone.......why should it be allowed because it has a cable?

but then i always think non-mobile carriages on trains are a bit odd.....people are allowed to speak still, just not via a piece of equipment. How is this different, other than the fact you can't hear both sides of the conversation with a mobile user?

for that matter, it may be improving family time with those present, but it hardly improves it with any family that isn't if you can't speak with them

Ephiny Tue 17-Dec-13 13:43:49

I think she's being very silly and rude. She can impose whatever rules she wants on her own children, but you can't 'ban' adult guests from using their own phones confused.

dreamingofsun Tue 17-Dec-13 13:45:46

grendelsmum - thats a bit sexist isn't it? how do you know its not her on the phone for work all the time?

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 17-Dec-13 14:19:54

Dreamingofsun - err, because OP actually said that the husband has an ipad and a blackberry for work.

foreverondiet Tue 17-Dec-13 18:45:43

I actually think this is reasonable. No need to be in constant contact. Turn phone to voicemail and leave in your room - respond to everything in the evening. Take with a stand alone camera for photos.

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