July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month, but we wish people would consider cell phone etiquette year-round. Cell phones are changing communications, commerce, and even TV watching, but people can also make you crazy using them without thougtht of others, such as when someone discusses intensely personal matters at a table near you in a restaurant.
And every time we see someone talking on a cell phone while driving, they do something dangerous, weaving across lanes, going at inappropriate speeds, and swerving in front of other cars.
Crying babies used to be the bane of train, plane and bus travelers, but these days its someone talking loudly and continually on a cell phone that can make a trip a trial.
So it wouldn’t hurt most cell phone users to think about what one company calls “The ten commandments of cell phone use.”
This according to CableOrganizer.com (www.CableOrganizer.com), an industry eTailer of cell phone, electrical, telecom/datacom, home theater, cable and wire management products, offers its “10 Commandments of Cell Phone Use” in conjunction with a Cell Phone Courtesy Kit (www.CableOrganizer.com/CellPhoneGear).
“Our company supplies the marketplace with a great number of cell phone parts and accessories, such as solar chargers, charging cord organizers, and smartphone stands, so it’s incumbent on us to help ensure users also conduct themselves appropriately when using a mobile phone in public,” said Paul Holstein, COO of CableOrganizer.com.
The 10 Commandments of Cell Phone Use:
1. Respect those you’re with. At some point or another, we’ve all been out with someone who has checked out of the one-on-one live conversation for a number of minutes to casually shoot the breeze with someone else via cell phone. If you make social plans with someone, they are the first priority and deserve your undivided time and attention.
2. Let voicemail handle non-urgent calls when appropriate. Voicemail exists for a reason… it allows you to take note of non-emergency incoming calls without disrupting the environment you are currently in. If you’re at a teacher/parent conference, a meal with your family, a social function immersed in conversations, and other such situations, rest assured your voicemail will be there when a more suitable time to return the call presents itself.
3. Set a good example to the younger generation. It’s no surprise that kids learn by example, so keep that in mind when you’re modeling cell phone behavior in front of the younger set — whether your kids or others. You teach them to say “please” and “thank you,” among other social graces, so why stop there? Mind your cell phone Ps and Qs in front of children and teens alike, and you’ll give them a better shot at becoming model, tech-savvy citizens themselves.
4. Wait to text, and save a life (yours). When you drive and text at the same time, whether reading or composing, you’re not only taking your hands off the wheel, but your eyes off the road as well. No text message is worth the risk of injuring, or killing, yourself or others. Wait until you are safely parked to send and return text messages.
5. Stash your cell when dining out. When people spend money on a dinner out, the last thing they want is to become a captive audience to a third party cell phone conversation. If you’re eating in public, especially in the company of others, stash the cell phone (and turn off the ringer) until the meal is over — everyone, including you, will enjoy themselves much more.
6. Remember when ‘private time’ is in order. It’s easy to identify telltale restroom sounds like echoes, running water and flushing in the background, so if you’re taking a time out to answer nature’s call, don’t try to fool anyone — end calls before you walk into the restroom, and don’t answer or dial again until you’ve washed and exited.
7. Keep arguments under wraps. Not every cell phone conversation may be a happy one, but that doesn’t mean you have license to a public meltdown. It’s easy to get wrapped up in an argument, but remember that others can’t see or hear the hothead on the other end of the line… all they are aware of is a one-sided screaming match a few feet away. Don’t let it be you.
8. Mind your manners. Stories and language that might be entertaining to your closest associates may very well come off as inappropriate or just plain TMI to innocent bystanders, so it’s smart to live by the following rule: if you wouldn’t walk through a busy public place with a particular word or comment printed on your t-shirt, don’t use it in cell phone conversations when within earshot of strangers.
9. Don’t ignore universal quiet zones. Whether you’re in a theater, house of worship, conference room or other standard locale requiring cell phone silence, it’s imperative to heed the mandate to shut off cell phones completely. Not only so they don’t make a notable sound, but also so that intrusive screen light does not distract, both of which are highly disrespectful to those around you.
10. Don’t make service personnel wait on you. There’s a growing frustration among cashiers, restaurant waitstaff, counter workers and others in the service trade about customers who expect to be served immediately, yet can’t be bothered to interrupt their cell phone conversations or texting marathons to coherently place an order or pay for a purchase.
Many service personnel strive to do their job well, and customers distracted by cell phones can undermine their own experience and create a bottleneck with others. Please — help them help you.
- Cell phone use rapidly expanding beyond making calls
- Maryland kid’s cell phone company rings up $36.8M
- Texting, social networking popular worldwide, Pew says
- More than half of smartphone owners seek health info
- Texting preferred mode of contact for many Americans
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