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CELL PHONE MANNERS

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I recently found myself with a dead cellphone battery and without a cellphone charger. It meant no texting, checking messages, looking at pictures of my dogs, Google fact checking or playing Words With Friends until I could get to a place where I could charge my phone.  It made me realize how dependent I have become on my cellphone. 

A recent article in Inc. Magazine by Cheryl Snapp Conner offered some cellphone do’s and don’ts (sins) that I think are worth mentioning and I’ve included my own too.

Bathrooms:  You aren’t alone in a public bathroom.  When you can’t make a personal call in the office, a bathroom isn’t an alternative space for a personal call.  People don’t need to hear about your personal life when they are in the bathroom.  The person on the other end of the line doesn’t need to hear a stall mates toilet sounds either!   

Elevators: Elevators are public spaces and people in an elevator are a captive audience. Discontinue a call when you are in an elevator. 

Hair Salons: This is a great time to not check emails or stay on your cellphone while your stylist is doing your hair. They shouldn’t have to work around you and your phone.  You can take a break for 30-45 minutes or just check when you are waiting between processes. 

Public Areas & Restaurants: Taking calls and talking in public areas is very annoying to others.  Just let someone know you’ll call them back or text them.  I am shocked at how many people consult with their significant others while doing grocery shopping and go up and down the aisles talking on their cellphones. People speak loudly like the person is right next to them while they are perusing a rack of clothes in Macy’s.  It is so irritating to others.  Personally, I use shopping time to relax and listening to another person’s one-sided conversation is anything but relaxing    

Fitness Center:  There are people who have lengthy conversations including using Facetime when they are working out.  It’s very annoying to others.  It’s difficult to block out someone’s conversation when they are on the stationary bike next to you. We don’t need to learn this much information about someone.

Volume Control: Many cellphone users are unaware of the way their voice volume raises when they are talking on their cellphone.  Recently, a woman was talking to someone while she was waiting in the airport and everyone around her was overhearing her conversation. It simply is rude and inappropriate.

Speaker Phone: It is equally rude to put a cell phone on speaker in a public place.  Other people should not be subjected to someone’s conversation nor should the person on the other end of the line. I recently asked a woman nicely, to turn down the volume of her speaker phone conversation; she glared at me a bit like I was the rude one! 

Office Meetings: When you are in an office meeting; it’s time to not text or check cell phone messages regardless of the length of a meeting.  Even if your colleagues are checking their phones; you’ll stand out by not following their example.  Checking cell phone messages is rude to whoever is conducting the meeting and is very disrespectful.  It’s important to remember that it wasn’t that long ago that someone had to wait until a meeting was ended to return to their office to check their phone messages.  

Workplace:  Most life situations do not require constant cell phone availability. Single parents checking on their children in school can be texted messages or called only in case of emergency.  Your lunchtime or during a break offers opportunities to check personal calls. Give your time in the office your full attention and not be distracted from personal calls. 

It is important to remember that your cellphone behavior is a model for children and others.  It’s up to you to set a good example.

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