Phone courtesy has always been in fashion, but when they became smart, it seems we lost a few brain cells. We all know the situation: being subjected to someone else’s conversation while in a public space. Speaking on a cell phone makes some of us forget our manners! Celebrate Cell Phone Courtesy Month by following these tips for cell phone etiquette.
- Whether you are attending an important business meeting, out on a date or even in a casual setting with friends, keep your phone out of sight. Placing your phone on the table or desk sends the clear message that they are not your number-one priority. It’s also just rude.
- Turn off or set your cell phone to silent or vibrate before meetings, meals, and meaningful moments. This is a must for courtrooms, theaters, or places of worship.
- Don’t use your phone when you are not sure what else to do in uncomfortable situations. If you walk into a new office or even a wedding reception and don’t know anyone, take time to engage with people face-to-face. Deferring back to your phone as a crutch will keep you from truly connecting with the people around you.
- There are exceptions to every rule: A) Doctors, nurses, first responders, and health providers B) Those expecting emergency calls C) Those who have an infant with a babysitter or a person with a caregiver D) Those momentarily sharing photos with others E) Those researching an important request, such as directions.
- If accepting an emergency call, excuse yourself as quietly and calmly as possible from the gathering with an apology. For example, “I apologize, however this is urgent, please excuse me.
- When making or taking a call, move 10 feet away from the building including windows. No one wants to see pacing or gesturing during your convo. Step outside when responding to a call while in a house of worship, medical office, library, theater, or hospital. Refrain from confidential conversations on planes, trains, and automobiles.
- Don’t use your phone and drive. Many states prohibit cellular use or limit it to hands-free only. Any message can wait until you arrive at your destination. If it truly is urgent, pull to a safe stopping area to receive the message or call.