Friday, February 12, 2010

Cell Phone Etiquette

Picture this; you are out at a restaurant enjoying yourself when, from the next table over, you hear a blaring hip- hop beat screaming for you to "Drop It Low." The diner next to you finally answers, and proceeds to gab away about her recent break up with her boyfriend.

Definitely not something anyone wants to hear while enjoying a day out. You want to take the cell phone and drop it in the woman's water cup, but instead you ask politely for her to excuse herself until her conversation is done. To your surprise, the woman looks at you and says, "It's a public place." Annoyed and angry you return to your interrupted dinner to brew over her rude behavior. You begin to think about cell phone etiquette. So what is proper cell phone etiquette?

In this blog, I am going to highlight the top eight rules of cell phone etiquette, so you won't ever be the annoying woman (or man!) in the above scenario.

The Rules:

1) When a private conversation is not possible: Public setting like restaurants, waiting rooms, hallways, buses, subways, and really anywhere that is public is not a good place to have a cell phone conversation. DO NOT talk on your phone in the restroom. No one needs to have their private time invaded by another person's phone conversation. Proper cell phone etiquette for this situation is to put your cell phone on vibrate or silent and let the call go to voicemail. If it is an important call, step outside or to a secluded area. If this is not possible, answer the call in a low toned voice, keep it brief, and let the caller know you will call them back shortly.

2) Phone off when the lights are out: In movie theatres, playhouse, and observatories cell phones need to be turned off. There is no excuse to answer the phone or have it in these types of atmospheres. People pay good money to attend these events and they do not want to heat your choice of ringer o your conversation with your best friend about last night's activities.

3) Modulate your voice: Cell phones pick up even the softest voices. Keep your voice low, do not yell, and keep emotions out. Be considerate of your surroundings and your companions by keeping your conversations private. Tell the caller you will return the call and step outside or away from others to talk.

4) 10- Foot Proximity Rule: This rule maintains that you keep a 10- feet distance from the nearest person when talking on your cell phone. Even if you talk in a low toned voice, if you are right next to a person they are likely to hear your conversation.

5) Keep it short: All public conversations need to be kept brief and let the caller know that you will call them back at a more convenient and private time.

6) When you are with your loved one's, be with them: Simply put, it is rude to be on the phone when you are on a date or during any type of social engagement. Return the call later.

7) Drive, don't talk: We are all good at multitasking but there is a time and a place for multitasking. Accidents are on the rise because of the improper usage of cell phones. No call is important that it can't wait until you have reached your destination. If you must talk while driving, pull over and stop driving! If you have a distracting or upsetting call, remain stopped until you calm down.

8) Common sense, please: Turn off your phone before job interviews, presentations, or boardroom meetings. Leave it off at funerals, weddings, museums, the courthouse, library, or a place of worship. Keep it off or on silent anywhere where quietness is appropriate or mandated.
If you aren't sure if it is appropriate to talk on the phone, DON'T ANSWER. Let the call go to voicemail and return the call or send a text message to let the person know you will get back to them shortly.

Do you have proper cell phone etiquette? Take this little quiz to find out. It also will give you some other interesting information in cell phone etiquette. QUIZMOS.

Have some comments or stories in relation to this blog. Leave them in the comment spot so I can post them for others to read.

Carly Sabato

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