I have a pet peeve that is getting harder and harder to avoid. It happens with my partner, my best friends, my business partners, random strangers and family. It's something that almost everyone, including myself, has done at some point and which sometimes seems pretty innocuous. It's just answering your cell phone - what's the big deal?
I'll tell you what the big deal is: it's rude.
When I'm spending time with someone and our intimate or friendly conversation is interrupted by an annoyingly ringing cell phone and then, even worse, my conversational partner picks up said annoyingly ringing cell phone and proceeds to start another conversation, I am APPALLED. I could make a list of all the reasons and ways that this is disrespectful, but I'll just give two variations on one: a) you aren't valuing my time and b) you aren't valuing our time together. I could also go into lengthy explanations of that, but it's really self-explanatory and I value my time enough not to take it up explaining that.
I just wanted to get that off my shoulder - it's been it's own little chip world there for a little while now. Please, please, please, people, take into consideration that the technology we have is supposed to enhance our communication and our lives but not take them over. Spend quality time online or on the phone with friends and family, but don't disrespect or disregard the people who are with you right now. Just like at the movies, silence your cell phones, unless you truly are expecting an important call. If that's the case, let your companions know in advance and beg their pardon when you have to walk away to take the call. Ninety-nine percent of the time (I'm making that up) you won't miss an emergency (and the 1% of the time that you do, what could you have done anyway?).