A character in Koolaids: The Art of War by Rabih Alameddine has a glorious rant about cellphone use. I suspect, and hope, that the phenomenon it lambasts is peculiar to a specific time and that courteous behaviour reigns in public spaces.
June 17th, 1996
I am not sure I can stand this city anymore. If I never see another cellular phone for the rest of my life, it would be too soon. Everybody has one and everybody uses them all the time. It is so irritating. We went to a restaurant tonight and phones just kept ringing. Every table averaged about three phones. Not a minute went by without one phone ringing. The ringers are all set to weird songs. You are nobody if you don’t own a cellular. I refuse to touch one. I heard a fight erupted at the Rabelais two nights ago and the men started hitting each other with their cellular phones. One man needed seven stitches over one eye.
Talk about your need for cell phone etiquette!
And so for day 800