Over the last decade, the ‘Cell Phone’ has become one of the most popular and useful forms of technology on Earth.
…and just like every other form of technological advancement, mankind has found a way to abuse it. We have turned what was initially produced to advance business relations and communicate emergencies into a downward spiraling social headache.
Annoying ring tones, unwelcome phone calls, and the infamous loud-cell-phone-talker have led this generation to disregard the most common forms of etiquette.
But have no fear, I’m here to share some basic rules for cell phone use.
RULE: Do not make or take cell phone calls in public places where your conversation may disturb the people around you.
This is the most broken rule in the history of wireless communication. Whether you are in a grocery store, restaurant, or anywhere other than your home or a private space, it is beyond rude to subject someone else to hear your otherwise private conversation. Taking a phone call in a public assembly such as a worship service or theater is an especially serious No-No. Try finding a secluded area to converse. Honestly, no one else cares to know how your party went last night. So, spare us any details unless we ask for them.
RULE: Calls should be brief and direct.
Long drawn out conversations tend to draw attention and could cause a disturbance. Cut it short to avoid offending bystanders.
RULE: Avoid hypersensitive conversations.
Just like a couple who has a heated argument in public, a sensitive or emotional call can be embarrassing to yourself and the people around you. Anger, frustration, jealousy, or any type of passionate emotion should be left for face-to-face interaction, not telecommunication.
RULE: Excuse yourself before taking or making a call when you are in the company of another person.
Giving a phone call precedence over the person you are with is not only impolite, but a form of disrespect. If it is truly a necessary call, excuse yourself, or better yet, ask for permission to take the call, i.e., “Do you mind if I take this call?”
RULE: Keep your voice down.
Sometimes we don’t realize how loud we are until we start getting dirty looks from the people around us. The truth is, unless there is a bad connection, the person on the other end can hear you just fine with your “inside voice”. If you are in a particularly noisy area, try using an ear piece. This will allow you to easily adjust your voice without having to yell.
RULE: Always regard common business protocol while at work.
Turn your ringer on vibrate during meetings and any official company gathering. Never answer or make a personal call during a meeting. If it turns out to be an emergency ask for consent to step out, then excuse yourself to a secluded area. Not doing so can be grounds for disciplinary actions at some companies.
RULE: Adjust your ring tone to your environment.
Ever been in a quiet library and all of sudden you hear Billy Ocean ‘s voice ring out? In quiet areas, turn your ringer on low or on vibrate. And for goodness sakes, don’t let your phone play a whole song before you answer it. Don’t assume that everyone digs