Dear Annie: You usually give sensible advice, so I’m hoping you can settle a disagreement between my husband and me.
First, let me say that I am not pro-texting while driving. I think it’s foolish and dangerous. I would never do that. But I don’t see the problem with texting while sitting at a traffic light or stop sign or while idling in traffic that’s at a complete standstill. I’m not scrolling through Facebook or anything, just shooting some quick texts — for example, to let a friend know that I’m running late or to tell my husband to pick up some milk.
My husband gets really annoyed with me when I do this with him in the car. He says it’s reckless and I could get a ticket. I feel that as long as the car isn’t moving, there’s no harm in quickly looking at my phone. That’s fairly logical, right? — Safe Driver
Dear Safe: Your husband is right. People who read or send texts while driving are 23 times likelier to get in a crash. And whether or not your foot is on the gas, you’re still operating a 2-ton hunk of steel. If you have a hard time resisting the temptation, consider installing an app that limits your texting ability while driving, such as DriveSafe.ly or AT&T DriveMode. DriveMode also can automatically send preset replies to let those who text you know you’re driving.
No text is so urgent that it demands an immediate reply. Or if it is, find the nearest safe, legal place to park and take care of it then. Seriously, it can wait.
Dear Annie: I’m weighing in with a millennial response to “Seething in the Great Plains” and “Mrs. in Minnesota.” “Seething” is tired of people addressing her as “honey,” and “Mrs.” doesn’t appreciate her daughter’s friends calling her by her first name. As a 25-year-old from the East Coast, I realize that my perspective may be different from others’ -- but that’s all the more reason to share it.
I grew up addressing my friends’ parents by their first names, and my own parents insisted that my friends call them by their first names. My professors in college preferred to be addressed by first name. To me, true respect is in the tone and content of the message, not the form of address. If I refer to or address a politician by his or her title and last name, it is not intended as a sign of enhanced respect. I respect my professors more than I do many politicians.
The most important thing is to address people the way they prefer to be addressed (within reason). If my parents and professors want to be called by their first names, their wishes are respected; if “Mrs. in Minnesota” and “Seething in the Great Plains” specify their preferred forms of address, their wishes should be respected. No point in getting worked up because someone didn’t read your mind in advance of being informed of your preference.
I hope my contribution to this conversation will help to show other readers where people are coming from and reduce misunderstandings. -- Respectful Millennial
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.