They are hard to get away from. Everywhere you go cell phones are ringing, vibrating and lighting up. Almost everyone has one in hand and always at the ready. Though recent studies show the most significant concerns regarding cell phone habits are texting while driving, loud public conversations and talking on the phone in restaurants, movie theaters and bathrooms are the top offenders when it comes to cell phone annoyances.
Founded in 2002 by international etiquette expert, author, and spokesperson, Jacqueline Whitemore, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month is quickly gaining popularity. Perhaps its increased popularity is due to the fact that likely everyone has been a victim to cell phone rudeness at one time or another. That being said, Jaqueline shares these tips in effort to raise awareness of cell phone etiquette.
Cell Phone Courtesy Tips
- Be all there. When you're in a meeting, performance, courtroom or other busy area, let calls go to voicemail to avoid disruption. In some instances, it's best to put your phone on silent mode.
- Keep it private. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.
- Keep your cool. Don't display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.
- Lean to vibe. Use your wireless phone's silent or vibration settings in public places such as business meetings, religious services, schools, restaurants, theaters or sporting events so that you don't disrupt your surroundings.
- Avoid "cell yell". Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don't recognize how distracting they can be to others.
- Follow the rules. Some places, such as some restaurants or courtrooms, restrict or prohibit the use of mobile phones so adhere to posted signs and instructions. Some jurisdictions may also restrict mobile phone use in public places.
- Excuse yourself. If you’re expecting a call that can’t be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you’re with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.
- Send a text message when you want to send a quick message. But remember not to text while having a conversation with another person. It’s important to give others, especially clients and customers, your full, undivided attention.
- Watch and listen discreetly. Multimedia applications such as streaming video and music are great ways to stay informed and access the latest entertainment. Use earphones to avoid distracting others in public areas.
- Don’t text and drive. Don’t put your life or those of others at risk. Pull over if you absolutely must send a message or wait until you reach your destination.
- Focus on driving. Practice wireless responsibility while driving. Don't make or answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Place calls when your vehicle is not moving, and use a hands-free device to help focus attention on safety.For the month of July, attempt to not use your phone at all while driving.