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Cell Phone Etiquette: What You Must Know

Friday, August 30, 2013

     Have you ever been to a restaurant with your spouse or friend and noticed that he or she is more interested in his or her cell phone than in talking to you? Or, have you ever been to a store and can't get help from the sales associate because he or she is talking on his or her cell phone? Almost everyone has a cell phone today, and it is becoming harder and harder to distinguish when to use them and when to put them away. The truth is, good manners exist in today's world of technology. Everyone needs to be aware of some basic rules for cell phone use, so here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

     1. Know when to use your cell phone.

       As a general rule, cell phones need to be put away when you are at work, in a meeting, in a job interview, or on a date. The person in your presence should be the priority for you. Don't answer the phone when you are with someone. Let your voice mail take a message and return the call later. The only exception is when you are expecting an important call. In this case you should let the person you are with know ahead of time about the expected call and excuse yourself from the conversation to take it. Quickly take care of your business on the phone and return to the person waiting for you.

    Leave your phone in the car or turn it off when going into a job interview. Having a phone ring or vibrate during an interview can kill your chances of getting the job.

     When you are on a date, make sure the person with you is the center of your attention. It is rude to text, check social media, post status updates, or even check your email while someone is in your presence.

     2. Keep your calls private.

     Try not to use your cell phone in public, especially in a waiting room, an elevator, a theater, or any place where people are close together. It is best to walk away from a group of people to talk on the phone. If it is not possible to get away from people, keep your voice down. Other people don't want or need to hear your conversation. Turn your phone off before going into a quiet or dark place such as a theater or church. Even the light on your phone can be disruptive to others sitting near you.

     3. Don't use speaker phones in public.

     Speaker phones should be used only when you are driving in the car or when you can't hold the phone to your ear. Make sure you get permission from the person on the other end of the conversation before you turn on the speaker.

     4. Turn your ringer down or to vibrate when you are in public.

    Loud or annoying ring tones will draw unnecessary and often unwanted attention to you, especially in quiet places like church, theaters, or during meetings.

     5. Put your phone away while at the dinner table.

     Engaging in a face to face conversation while eating is a good way to develop positive relationships both at home and in business. It is especially good for families to stay engaged with children's activities and to stay connected to each other.

Technology is great! However, it can't replace the personal relationships that are developed through a face to face conversations. Knowing basic rules of cell phone use is just one way for you to "Outclass the Competition". 




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