Cell phone use is quickly climbing to the top of America’s pet peeve list. It’s a shame a device so useful in emergencies, security, and business communications can be so annoying when used without following simple etiquette rules.
Most recently, at my father’s funeral, a cell phone rang during the eulogy – not just once – but two separate times! An ultimate example of disrespectful cell phone use.
Here are a few basic rules for cell phone use so you don’t become the person who is annoying:
1. Silence the phone or turn the phone off in public places. Voicemail was invented to answer the phone when you can’t. How did we survive before the invention of cell phones?
I was waiting in a doctor’s office and heard a guy tell his friend he was going to ditch his date with a girl to “hang with the guys”. The girl was one of my best friends. Oops!
2. Don’t shout. Everyone around you does not want to listen to your conversation. In respect to the person on the other end, keep the conversation private. Step outside or find a private location if you can’t call back later.
3. Don’t multi-task. This includes checking out at the local store or fast food restaurant, walking down the sidewalk or in the mall, and driving. If you can’t give 100% to what you’re doing, step aside or pull over.
How many times have you been in line behind one of these offenders?
4. Give 100% of your attention to the people in your presence. For example, dining with others in a restaurant, attending a meeting, completing a transaction at the store or bank, or speaking with a co-worker or client in an office.
I was being interviewed by a television reporter about cell phone etiquette when her cell phone rang in the middle of the interview – she answered it! Perhaps she was trying to get a reaction from the etiquette expert?
5. Turn the ringer volume down or use the vibrate mode.
You may love to hear, “Tip Toe Through the Tulips”, but others don’t want to hum it all day when it gets stuck in their head.
6. Phones off in the audience or congregation. This includes theaters, churches, funeral homes, business presentations, and outdoor amphitheaters.
The invention of technology is wonderful, but let’s use it to enhance our lives and not to contribute to rudeness and disrespect of others.
Please share your cell phone stories. Everyone has at least one!