I vaguely remember life before the cell phone. I have become very dependent upon this remarkable little device. It allows me to keep up with my husband and children; it assists me when I need directions or when I have a last minute change of plans. It also gives me peace of mind because I can confirm my teenage son has reached his destination safely. My husband is a physician, and this little hand-held apparatus even helps him attend to immediate medical situations.
However, this advance in technology comes at a price: We forget to enjoy the peace around us—and respect the peace of others. Many of us neglect the phone manners our mothers taught us during the age of landlines. Here is a refresher course on mobile phone manners to make life more tolerable in the digital age.
1. Never use a cell phone during mealtime. This should be a time when families are reconnecting, not texting about homework or weekend plans. Just carve out this time for your family. Whether at home or dining out, it is just best to put your phone away.
2. Do not use your phone in close proximity to another person. Your voice is usually elevated while speaking on the small gadget, and it is annoying to people close to you. This certainly applies to the waiting rooms in doctors’ and dentists’ offices, or any intimate space.
3. Avoid personal topics in public. Discussing your medical or family matters in public is not appropriate and can be offensive to others.
4. Try not to check your text messages during time out with family and friends. Texting is a wonderful alternative if you are in a crowded situation, but try to avoid it while in a face-to-face conversation with another person. PLEASE DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING!!
5. If you are in a conversation with others and must take a call, excuse yourself or ask for permission.
6. Cellular conversations should be short and to the point. Wait until you are home to catch up with friends about their weekend activities.
7. Please do not use your cell phone while trying to conduct business in public. If you are at the bank, grocery store checkout or dry cleaners, put down the phone and finish your transaction. The employee, and those waiting behind you, will appreciate this courtesy.
These are my own personal suggestions. I would love to hear yours!
As always, thanks for reading.