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Cell phone do's and do nots

Updated on April 1, 2016

To answer or not to answer.....

Have you been in an uncomfortable situation where privacy is necessary but another is invading it? Society as a whole has forgotten their manners which are most predominate when it comes to cell phone etiquette.

Each time our phone rings or a message comes across we should ask ourselves, “Is it really necessary I answer this now?” Yes, it is understandable that emergencies will arise from time to time and in those instances we must graciously excuse ourselves from the boardroom or refrain from stepping into the restroom. Don’t forget, every cell phone comes equipped with easy to retrieve voicemail.

How many of you have been in a meeting with someone or better yet indisposed when another carries on with their phone conversation? That is downright embarrassing. Not only is it disruptive to all involved but to those tending to personal business it is discourteous. Personally I don’t want to find out the person I was on the phone with was in the restroom while talking to me. I have yet to enter a restroom with a sign that read “Phone booth” as opposed to the standard “Restroom” placard we are accustomed to.

It is easy to politely inform the person on the other end of the call, “I’m sorry, but I’m otherwise engaged. Can we continue this discussion later?” Not only will the caller understand as you have cordially bowed out but everyone around you will appreciate the gesture as well. I’ve been in management for many years and I guarantee I would be less likely to hire an applicant whom I was on the phone with and heard a toilet flushing in the background than I would be to someone I had to leave a voicemail for.

Another aspect that should always be taken into consideration is acoustics. The larger, emptier rooms and hallways will have better sound transmission which will carry your voice, gaily bouncing off the walls like a two year old on a sugar high inviting everyone around into your conversation. Is that really something you want to have happen? Should everyone be privy to last weekend’s binge?

On that note, one thought comes to mind, Privacy, Privacy and oh ya – PRIVACY.

Restaurants, doctors’ offices, movie theaters, banks, drugstores, grocery store lines are open areas where your voice will travel down the public information super highway faster than the speed of light. If you must have conversations publicly, please remove yourself from the waiting rooms and checkout lines and step into less populated areas to proceed with your call. Others around you will applaud this decision.

It is in everyone’s best interest to be cognizant of all local and state cell phones laws. More than a dozen states have banned talking on cell phones while driving and almost all have banned texting while driving. Anyone caught is subject to hefty fines. I literally watched a woman texting on her cell phone while doing 35 MPH on a 65 MPH highway. Not only is this reckless, but it could invite road rage from an aggressive passerby.

According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving accounts for more than 28 percent of all motor

vehicle crashes and this number is on the rise with each passing minute. That equates to one in four car crashes directly related to cell phone usage while driving.

The vast majorities of us enjoy and even live by today’s technology, but it appears as though society has put all their faith into electronics while manners and the common courtesies we were taught as children have fallen to the waste side.

Think about it, is answering that call or text right then worth the potential humiliation or risk of life and limb? Common sense should lead us to believe otherwise.


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    • JayWill profile image

      Jay Williams 21 months ago from Austin

      Phones have always driven me crazy. In the old days people would drop what they were doing to rush to answer the phone. Nowadays with the cell phone portability, it's even worse—as you indicated. So good HUB, although I think you should have used bullets (•) for each point. On a side note, I blogged about phones a while back and it included some similar thoughts, but also was a way for me to indicate how I thought it strange that people who love the wonders of the new phones, don't see the irony of their disdain for eBooks. If you have a moment, check it out. There are at least some good pics: