WASHINGTON - Even cell phone users get irritated at others who yak on their portables about their personal business in public. An AP-AOL-Pew poll found the offended don't think they are among the callers who get on other people's nerves.
Most cell users find their phones very useful, with half keeping them on all the time.
But almost nine in 10 say they encounter others using those phones in an annoying way. Only 8 percent of cell users acknowledge their own use of cell phones is sometimes rude.
"People tend to talk louder on the phone. That's quite irritating," said Pamela Sorenson, a 57-year-old resident of Bellingham, Wash. "I often hear young people, mostly college age, talking about dating and personal things I don't want to know about."
More than two-thirds of cell phone users say it would be hard to give up their portable, according to the poll, one of the most extensive news surveys of cell phone users yet.
About a fourth of the cell phone users polled, 26 percent, said they can't imagine life without their cell phone. Three-fourths of cell users say they have used it in an emergency.
"My cell phone is pretty much a necessity — sometimes a pain but a necessity," said Sandra Moore of Colorado Springs, Colo. "I have children and the cell phone gives me the freedom to be places I need to be. It's easier to communicate with people, you can reach them almost any time.
"But that means people can reach me anytime," she grumbled. "Sometimes, I just turn the ringer off."
Almost one-fourth of those polled say too many people try to get in touch with them on their cell phones — just one of many headaches balanced against the devices' advantages.
The poll also found:
More than a fourth, 28 percent, said they sometimes don't drive as safely as they should because they are using a cell phone.
More than a third, 36 percent, said they are sometimes shocked at the size of their service bill.
The bulk of cell users use it traditionally — as a portable phone. But cell phones increasingly include built-in cameras, MP3 players, games and computers with the Internet and e-mail.