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Cell Phone Etiquette 101

Updated on June 13, 2011
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!

Too Much Technology

The time has now come to discuss some cell phone etiquette. I am not sure why, but cell phones make some people forget they have manners.

In the past five years, cell phones have seriously increased in popularity. Everybody and their brother has one. Also, everybody and their brother wants to talk, text, or email on their cell phone pretty much all day long. I will be honest when I say, I don't get the appeal. That used to be one of my favorite things about leaving my house - I was getting away from the phone. People could not annoy me anymore on the phone. Now, the phone just follows you wherever you go. It is like an overly clingy friend that you just can't shake off.

In this hub, I would like to explore basic cell phone etiquette. Please remember, even if you love your phone, not everyone else is going to feel the same.

Annoying Ring Tones

Let's talk about ringtones. I am not sure why, but for some reason, it seems like there are people out there that have made it their goal in life to have the most obnoxious ringtone possible. For these people, I would like to ask a simple question: why? Is it that you secretly hate your cell phone and you want me to flush it down the toilet for you? If that is what you want, just ask. I would love to see a cell phone go down the toilet. It would be exciting for me.

When choosing a ringtone, why not pick something simple that most people can enjoy? Also, keep your phone down at a normal volume. No one needs to keep their volume up at the eardrum busting loud level. If you need that, I am sorry to inform you that a hearing aid might be the best option for you.

I know what you might be thinking now, "Well, how do I know my cell ringtone is annoying?" Oh, you will know. If a number of people have told you that you have the most obnoxious ringtone they've ever been forced to hear, change your ringtone. They are not just saying that to be conversational. You are seriously in danger of losing friends. Perhaps you socialize with people who are not so bold. Do people glare at your cell phone every time it rings? Guess what? Your ringtone is annoying. Change it now. It is for your own safety as well as the safety of your phone.

You Can't Have a Private Conversation in Public

If you need to have an important conversation and you are not in the privacy of your own home, everyone understands.  These things do happen.  However, you need to find a way to go into a corner or bathroom or walk outside during these situations.  Please do not attempt to walk through Walmart while buying your toilet paper and picture frames, and continue your thrilling conversation about your husband spending the night in jail.  I mean, seriously, I am not going to lie, your conversation is interesting.  So don't glare at me when I look at you.  You are the one having a private conversation in public, not me.  I am just trying to figure out why your husband hit that dude in the first place.  Now I am involved; it is like a soap opera. 

If you don't want people to listen, take it outside.  It is a very simple rule.

Turn It Off!!!

You must know when to turn off your cell phone.  If you can't determine when this should occur, you probably should not have a cell phone.  A simple rule: if you need to pay attention to someone or something else, turn it off and put it away.  Here are some examples of inappropriate times for cell phone use:

  • In a meeting at work.
  • On a date at the dinner table.
  • While driving a car (or a plane, a boat, a motorcycle, a rocket, etc.)
  • Watching a movie at the theater.
  • Watching a play or dance recital (yes, even if it is small children and boring!)
  • While having a real conversation with a human standing in front of you.
  • At the checkout line when the cashier is waiting on you and talking to you.
  • Riding a roller coaster.

I am sure there are a number of instances I am forgetting, but for now, this is the list.  If you think of anything and want me to add something, let me know.  I would be happy to do so.

For now, it is time to say good bye.  I hope you've enjoyed the etiquette lesson.  Most of all, if you have an annoying ringtone (and you know who you are!), please change it.  It will make the world a better place.



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