Good cell phone manners seem to be in short supply these days; people act as though it's the most important thing in their life. Certainly, a cell phone can be a very convenient tool and useful to have around. But how can you avoid annoying other people when you use your phone? Here are some tips on good cell phone manners …
1. Switch off
Good cell phone manners begin with switching your phone off in certain situations. Remember that other people may be annoyed by your conversation or cell phone use, and that calls are very rarely essential. And it's not just calls that can be annoying. Resist the temptation to check your phone if the glow of the screen will bother other people (such as in a cinema).
2. Where Not to Use
If you're going to a lecture at college, into a church, or to the cinema or theater, your phone should definitely be switched off. It's definitely not appropriate to have your phone go off at a funeral! If you may need to take an urgent call, put your phone on to vibrate. And don't use your phone to film a concert - enjoy the live experience instead!
It's odd how people seem to forget when they use their phone in public that other people can hear them. For their sake and yours, be discreet in your topics of conversation. I was once astonished to hear a girl discussing her menstrual cycle - on the bus! It's as if people think they're in a bubble and nobody can hear them …
4. Talk to Friends, Not to Your Phone
Some cafés now carry signs saying, 'No free wi-fi - talk to each other instead.' It's a good point - why do people arrange to meet up with friends and then spend the evening staring at their phone? Unless you need to check something, such as the time of a movie screening, leave your phone in your pocket and talk to your friends.
As I mentioned above, if you need to be contactable via your phone then put it on vibrate. This way you'll know if you receive a message or call, but won't disturb anyone else. You'll also be able to see if it's a call that you want to take or if you can ignore it.
6. Leave the Room
If you must take a call, then it's better to leave the room and go somewhere that you won't disturb anyone by talking. Most people don't appreciate someone chatting away on the phone as if they weren't there. It's really quite rude to prioritise a call over the people you're with, but if you need to take the call it's best to pop outside.
7. Go to Voicemail
Finally, make use of the voicemail facility when you're out. Most calls are not that important and can be picked up by voicemail. If the caller really needs to tell you something, they will leave a message.
With a little consideration, you can use your phone without annoying anyone else. So before you take out your phone, give a moment's thought to whether anyone will be bothered by you making a call or checking something. Have you ever seen an example of bad phone manners?