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Is this rude?

(27 Posts)
BlueBlazerBlack Mon 01-Jun-20 11:05:40

Is it rude to call someone while you are in the middle of a different activity that requires you to focus on other things and prop up your phone and be out of shot for part of the conversation?
I have a friend who does this and it drives me crazy. I feel like this is taking multi-tasking too far. It is distracting, it feels disrespectful and makes it hard to sustain the conversation, but they seem to think it's fine because they are a busy person and don't have time to just sit and talk.

YANBU - it is annoying and you shouldn't call someone if you need to do something else at the same time.
YABU - it's fine to do other activities while you are facetiming.

I have a sensitive streak so happy to accept I may be unreasonable.

I don't want to specify the activity as it could be outing...

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iklboo Mon 01-Jun-20 11:06:44

I wouldn't like this. I'd feel like an afterthought.

BlueBlazerBlack Mon 01-Jun-20 11:11:32

Yep, it makes me feel like an afterthought, like I'm not important enough to command their full attention and that they don't want to waste time 'just' talking to me. We live far away from each other so it's not like we can talk in person, facetime is our only means of communication

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NeutralJanet Mon 01-Jun-20 11:15:51

I've spoken to a friend on facetime a few times during lockdown, quite often it's been while one of us has been cooking, pottering around the garden etc. I don't think its rude. I dislike speaking on the phone or video calling anyway though, it makes me feel much less awkward to have something to do while I chat rather than just sit there and stare at a phone screen.

Tlollj Mon 01-Jun-20 11:19:05

I don’t believe any one is that busy they can’t stop what they’re doing and talk to a friend. At a mutually agreed time of course. But if the phone goes and you can’t talk just say ‘ give us ten mins, I’ll call you back’ such a drama

BlueBlazerBlack Mon 01-Jun-20 11:20:15

Thank you, it's good to see both sides..

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BlueBlazerBlack Mon 01-Jun-20 11:25:39

@Tlollj it's my friend who calls me while they are in the middle of something, not the other way around. I always send a message first to see if they are busy, then they call me but 5 minutes into the conversation they will start doing something else, either cleaning, prepping or cooking. Maybe they are just bored talking to me sad

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Neverender Mon 01-Jun-20 11:28:14

I do it as it's an easy way to chat to someone and get stuff done at the same time, but I wouldn't bother FaceTiming if I were.

peopleherearerightcunts Mon 01-Jun-20 11:30:33

I don't think it's rude, my friends and I often do this (although perhaps on a normal call rather than video call), honestly we probably wouldn't have time to chat otherwise.

Cherrysoup Mon 01-Jun-20 11:30:48

I prefer to fully concentrate on the person I’m phoning. If I can’t be bothered to give them my full attention, I wouldn’t call. Have you said to her ‘I see you’re obviously busy, I’ll call another time?’ cos I would.

Puddlejuice Mon 01-Jun-20 11:31:39

One of my SILs will happily facetime whilst she cooks, tidies etc, flitting in and out of screen. I don't enjoy it, so told her I don't want to anymore, so we don't. We either have a voicecall, (I assume she wears an earpiece and is still doing her jobs) or we text any news u til we see eachother face to face.
I don't think it's rude for her to want to do it, or for me not to, it's just different communication styles, it does not need to be an issue, just speak to your friend about it.

onceuponatimeinsuburbia Mon 01-Jun-20 11:38:40

YANBU & what's worse, they don't even understand why it's so offensive. It's only ok If they've already said that they're expecting a call and they'll have to take it because ( insert emergency detail) and they're really sorry. And it needs to be a real reason - not organising nail, hair or Botox appointments and chatting with the 'therapist' while you sit there like the unwelcome
I used to suffer this in silence with certain 'friends' pre-lockdown. It was the final straw. I actually cut one meeting short after the third 'urgent' phone call (arranging an appointment for the dog to be groomed angry) & left on the basis that we'd catch up when she had more time. Cue phone call to arrange another meet up. I couldn't make it. And no I didn't give her friend's friend's daughter the sought after work experience that the mutual 'friend' had promised I would. On reflection, I came to realise that the majority of them only got in touch when they wanted something and there's never any reciprocity- I'm excluded from get togethers, parties, weekends away etc ( I've known most of these people for more than 15 years) - they have other friends for the fun stuff. . Since lockdown I've felt less guilty about not initiating contact with these people who've suddenly become more available.
I won't be rushing to see them afterwards either. I'm lucky to have some solid people in my life, just a few but it's enough.
Take heart OP. You're not the problem.

BestOption Mon 01-Jun-20 11:42:39

I don't mind. I talk to my best friend in NZ and I quite like it when she's baking or even decorating! It's nice to feel part of what's going on!

My mum on the other hand, not so much as she moves the iPad around all the time and I end up feeling motion sick (I have astigmatism). I have explained it's bette if she just props 'me' up somewhere and talks, even if she's 'off camera'.

My best friend is fine if I'm doing something too, but my Mum gets arsey if I'm trying to cook or do something else. So I usually phone her instead- then she can't see what I'm doing!

OH (locked down separately) I don't mind if he's pottering in the garden or whatever, but he doesn't like it unless he has my full attention (nothing new there though!).

Depends what your friend is doing I suppose.

Plus it's not always convenient to drop everything just to sit & chat, but I don't like 'booking in a time' either as you then have to plan around it. I'd rather someone just called/FaceTimed & accepted it was either convenient or not.

Everyone wants to chat for hours on end then looks surprised when I say 'nothing much' when they ask what I've achieved in lockdown.🙇🏻‍♀️ I've started replying that I can't get anything done for being in FaceTime/the phone all the time, but it's not sinking in 🤷🏻‍♀️

AntiHop Mon 01-Jun-20 11:54:21

I think yabu as I do this. I'm so busy trying to juggle a full time job and having my child at home, this is the only way I have time for people.

JudyCoolibar Mon 01-Jun-20 11:57:29

I quite regularly carry on with something like a bit of cleaning, putting stuff in the washing or washing-up machine, or cooking whilst I'm on the phone, just as I regularly have face to face chats in the kitchen with members of my family whilst doing those things. None of it stops me from concentrating on what the other person is saying - if anything the reverse; if I'm just sitting there I'm afraid my mind is rather more likely to wander.

One thing I'm enjoying about lockdown is being able to have Zoom meetings where I don't have to sit there doodling but can quietly get on with some basic low-level emailing/opening post/crocheting under the level of my computer camera. Again, if anything it helps me to concentrate.

Willdoitlater Mon 01-Jun-20 12:11:20

I think it depends what you are talking about. I wouldn't expect someone's undivided attention if I was just chatting. I'd think a friend who wanted undivided attention to chat about nothing much was high maintenance. But if you are needing to talk about something serious, need moral support, that's entirely different.

BlueBlazerBlack Mon 01-Jun-20 12:12:31

Some interesting replies, it's clear some people aren't bothered at all about this, whilst for others it can be quite unpleasant. I personally find it annoying and distracting but whenever I say "I see you are busy, I'll call another time", my friend gets quite defensive. I can also tell they are not concentrating fully and can't always hear me when they are out of shot, so I find it frustrating having to repeat myself...I might just try normal phone calls from now on, I think it's the empty screen on the camera that I find unnerving

OP’s posts: |
1000mangoesinabirthdaycake Mon 01-Jun-20 12:12:57

It depends on what the other person is doing. I'm not sure it's rational but I wouldn't be ok with them cleaning or gardening but would be ok with them painting nails or preparing food. Maybe it is more to do with how much I am able to concentrate whilst doing those things.

FrodoTheDodo Mon 01-Jun-20 12:14:16

I think it's fine. It's no different to talking to someone in the same room, you don't necessarily just sit there and give undivided attention, you might be getting on with preparing tea or whatever.

Dinomom52 Mon 01-Jun-20 14:03:17

Pretty sure YANBU.

But I find it really hard to sit & do nothing on the phone. But I also tend not to face time much.

Nevertouchakoala Mon 01-Jun-20 14:05:13

I do this all the time. I don’t see a problem with it. Most people I FaceTime do this also (apart from older generations)

FelicityBeedle Mon 01-Jun-20 14:24:24

I feel more comfortable doing this, I’m rubbish at just sitting having a chat on FaceTime. It doesn’t feel natural to me

FelicityBeedle Mon 01-Jun-20 14:24:51

Think of how many people walk round the room while making a phone call, it’s just like that. Doesn’t mean you’re boring

billy1966 Mon 01-Jun-20 14:25:17

If someone was doing a non noisy task in the one spot like prepping veg fine, but walking in and out is extremely rude and I would just say, "I will let you go, you are clearly busy".

I've never had anyone do that to me though.

bloodywhitecat Mon 01-Jun-20 14:26:29

Video calling makes me very uncomfortable so I prefer to be doing something or be out of shot, pottering about.

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