DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I hand my phone to someone to show them a specific picture or message, I find it rude and inappropriate when they start scrolling through my phone to look at other items.
Am I off-base on this? How can I politely voice my objection, or otherwise nip this in the bud?
GENTLE READER: Assuming that you are not yourself being rude (by playing hilarious videos for fellow guests at someone else’s party), your options are limited.
You may suggest a second photo or message for viewing that requires you to repossess the telephone. But while this provides temporary relief, you may have to repeat it until your friend gives up in disgust.
You may laugh self-deprecatingly and say, “Oh, please don’t look at those, they’re so embarrassing.” This will definitely pique everyone’s interest, and it may or may not get your telephone back.
Or you may invent an emergency that requires your immediate attention in a different room: what Miss Manners calls the “I hear my mother calling” gambit.
The only sure solution is the obvious one: keeping the conversation to subjects that do not require visual supplements.