Cell phones are one of the greatest inventions of all time, and have become essential and quite fashionable. People schedule their activities, shop, play games, take photographs, communicate, etc. You will seldom see anyone without a cell phone these days. So why are these devices constantly under scrutiny? July is bringing awareness to these sometimes nuisances as it has been designated National Cell Phone Courtesy Month by a Palm Beach, Florida manners expert and Sprint. Jacqueline Whitmore enlisted the phone company and decided in 2002 to increase phone etiquette by encouraging people to think before using their phones in public places and to consider others before engaging in conversations.
While everyone knows you should never drive and use your phone, here’s some other “don’ts” to remember:
- Don’t place your phone on the table when having dinner.
- Don’t interrupt conversations to take a call, let it go to voicemail or if it is important, excuse yourself and find a place out of sight.
- Don’t use your phone in a bathroom.
- Don’t walk and talk at the same time.
Of course, there are some exceptions—especially if you are expecting a call, such as health providers or someone with an infant left in the care of a babysitter; however, be courteous, apologize for the interruptions, and excuse yourself. Just be smart with your smartphone.
Texting, social media, and email are also actions people use with their phones for so here’s some questions you should ask yourself before responding:
- Will I regret this later?
- Am I angry?
- Will this hurt someone?
- Is this appropriate?
- Will this affect my job or relationship?
Remember, cell phones are not the problem, it is the lack of respect shown by users. Challenge yourself this month by spending a little less time on the phone and a little more time expanding your social face-to-face circle and enjoy the world that is right in front of you.
For more information about cell phone courtesy, click here.