Are You Using Your Mobile Manners?

August 4, 2011

Mobile MannersEverywhere you look, people are on cell phones. In the grocery stores, restaurants, movie theatres, shopping malls and doctor’s offices, people are talking (or texting) on their phone. Just the other day I saw a woman jogging in the park with a cell phone up to her ear. It just looked odd to me somehow.

There has been an explosion of smartphones on the market, and everyone seems to be texting. This has added an additional layer of communication etiquette challenges to the mix. It’s quieter to text someone, and it would appear that it’s less distracting, but if you’re with someone and you’re not fully engaged because you’re answering every beep and buzz from your cell phone, well that is not good manners. I know I don’t want to be sitting down for a romantic dinner with a man who is answering a text from the other side of the table!

Hold that call!

By taking a cell phone call while in the presence of others, you’re saying to the person you are with “there is something or someone more important than you are.”

Alternately, have you ever grabbed a call just because it was ringing? Even though you didn’t have time to chat. You probably would have been far better off letting it go to message. Right? Well, the same is true when answering a cell phone while with other people. It’s a distraction from the current conversation and often even changes the dynamics of the conversation after the intrusion.

As much as we talk on cell phones these days, there still seems to be a lot of people who don’t have a grasp on the etiquette of cell phone use yet. Just because we can talk to whomever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want, does that mean we should completely forget our manners?

Here’s a quick review of some cell phone etiquette tips:

  1. Don’t use cell yell when taking calls in public. Your voice sounds different on a cell and is louder and carries farther than you think.
  2. Avoid talking about personal topics when other people can hear you.
  3. If you must take a call when you’re already engaged in a face-to-face conversation, ask permission of the people who are with you. Then move away from them so they can carry on their conversation without your distraction.
  4. Do NOT text during face-to-face conversations.
  5. Maintain a distance of at least 10-feet from the nearest person when talking on your cell phone.
  6. When the lights are turned off, your phone should be, too (movie theatres, playhouses, etc.)
  7. Don’t place your cell phone on the dinner table, anywhere.
  8. Use common sense. Your phone should be turned off or to silent during a job interview, funeral, wedding, at the gym, in the bathroom, during a presentation, or any other setting where a quiet atmosphere is mandated.

Do you think there are others that belong on the list of cell phone dos and don’ts?’ List them in the comments section below.

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Posted by Margaret in Everyday Etiquette and tagged , , , .

 

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