Your mother may have raised you right, but Mom wasnâ€™t born in a technological age. Cell phones are everywhere, and they can do just about everything and connect you to just about everyone. But have you ever gotten in trouble at work for having your cell out? Have you ever been yelled at by your spouse, friend or any one else for texting when you should be listening? Since Emily Post isnâ€™t around any more, how do you know how to be courteous and respectful while still being connected? Simple! Read on for the ultimate guide in how to behave while still staying current.
Rule # 1: Is it an Emergency?
Yes, the point of a cell phone is to stay connected, and nothing is more crucial than being on standby in a crisis. Some things that constitute a crisis? Your motherâ€™s having surgery, your sisterâ€™s baby is due any minute now, or your building is burning and youâ€™re waiting for the fire department. Basically, any time you have your phone by your hand at all times, you are saying that, pending the results of a phone call, I will leave the table/office/building immediately. Good manners dictates that if this is completely necessary (and it sometimes is), inform the people you are with so that itâ€™s not misinterpreted as lack of interest. Divulge as much info as you feel comfortable with, but thatâ€™s it!
Rule #2: Using your Phone at a Restaurant
If youâ€™re eating a meal with someone (anyone!) unless there is an emergency (see section above), your phone should be silent and stashed. Seriously. There is no situation in which it is acceptable to have the phone beside your plate, or on the table in any fashion. Turn off your ring and alert tones; not only are they disrespectful to the people youâ€™re with, but they can get very frustrating to other people trying to dine in peace. Consider the message youâ€™re sending; a phone that is quiet and away shows your dinner mate(s) that you consider them to be more deserving of your attention than anyone else. Let the call go to voice mail, and that text will still be there later. Without exception, texting/web surfing under the table is unforgivably rude. Not only does it give the impression that you couldnâ€™t care less about your current scene, but it also carries the tasteless insinuation that you might be talking about the person youâ€™re with.
Rule #3: Watch a Movie without Making a Scene: Entertainment Venues
This one varies slightly depending on the venue. Consider the effected people in any given situation; in a movie theater, people around you will be annoyed by a ring tone. In a play, you might disrupt the actors themselves. At a ball game, chances are no one will be able to hear or see what youâ€™re doing over the noise. Same goes for a concert. For any entertainment venue (when your attention is most likely not on the people you came with), respond to the noise level expectation. In a movie? Who cares if you text, as long as youâ€™re not yapping away, but make sure the phone isÂ on silent. At a play? Same thing applies. For the ball game, even quick conversations are okay, as long as it doesnâ€™t go on forever and (crucial) you donâ€™t stand up and block someoneâ€™s view. Take longer calls out of the main seats. This also applies for concerts (larger ones). For smaller, intimate concerts (ie, the performer can hear you) apply movie theater protocol.
Rule #4: A Bird, a Plane, or Just Plain Rude: Get it Right on Public Transportation
Weâ€™ve all been on the train, plane or automobile when the person off our elbow is talking non-stop. Chances are, most of us have even been that person more than once. The difficulty is that although you are sharing space with others, youâ€™re also on your way to and from home and usually want to get in contact with family or the office. Blissfully many subways donâ€™t get reception, but if they do (or for any other mode of transportâ€”this includes elevators!), talk all you want at the stop, station, or lobby. Once you get behind closed doors into an enclosed space, shut it. Texting is fine, but keep the ring tone level down.
Rule #5: Working It: Cell Friendly Office
Very easy distinction: if you make and receive business calls on your phone, keep it out, keep it on, keep it relatively quiet. If your phone is not part of your day-to-day business needs and expectations, it shouldnâ€™t be out. Text on the sly if you must, but it really should wait for your break.
Rule #6: Good Manners Start at Home: Cell Phones and Family
Kids and parents, put your phones away for family time. Any designated time when you should be talking to each otherâ€”dinnertime, playing monopoly, family outings, etcâ€”stash the phone. Putting down your phone is a sign that you want to be fully focused on the people youâ€™re with, and really, who deserves that more than your family?
Rule #7: You Drive Me Crazy: Safety and Courtesy in the Car
Get a Bluetooth, and rock the calling on the go all you want. Donâ€™t have a headset, or youâ€™re a texting fiend? If youâ€™re the one driving, forget it. Your safety and the safety of the others in the car and on the road are worth this one sacrifice. This isnâ€™t just courtesy; itâ€™s common sense. Check out the research if youâ€™re a skeptic. Also, check out the Cell Phones.org guide to whatâ€™s legal whereâ€”you really donâ€™t want to be breaking the law AND driving dangerously.
Rule #8: Keep it Classy: Rules for School
You should be paying attention in class, but this guide isnâ€™t about insisting on your attention span; itâ€™s about courtesy. Texting in class (good luck getting away with a phone call) is actually really rude. The teacher can hear it even on vibrate, and it immediately makes you look bad and disinterested. Youâ€™re basically saying that the teacher isnâ€™t worth your time, and thatâ€™s not a good message to send in middle school, high school, or college. Teachers – this goes for you too. No answering phones, unless you want your students to realize you’re only there for the tenure and summer vacation.
Rule #9: A Partyâ€™s Only a Text Away: Rock it Right on a Night Out
At parties, bars, or even hanging out, most of the time, your cell is your lifeline. It lets people know where to meet you, whatâ€™s going on, and keeps you constantly connectedâ€”which, for the social scene, is a very good thing. Text and call all you want, as long as youâ€™re floating around a venueâ€”itâ€™s great as a save from an awkward conversation or as a tool to keep things going. However, if you get involved in a one on one with someone, remember that checking your phone equals disinterest.
Rule #10: Love the One Youâ€™re With (or at Least Pay Attention!): Why Who Youâ€™re With Matters
As mentioned above, when you are available on your cell phoneâ€”itâ€™s visible, accessible, and audibleâ€”you are making a clear statement about priorities. You are saying that the possibility of someone calling is more exciting and more demanding of your time than the person you are currently with. This means it is chivalric suicide to have it out on a date (and probably romantic suicide as well), and itâ€™s disrespectful to teachers, coworkers, and family members. Browsing the internet or checking email is especially rudeâ€”really, youâ€™d rather check your email (which will be waiting for you later) than spend time with them? When it comes to friends, since they tend to be a very flexible and fluid group of people, most wonâ€™t be upset if you have your phone out or in useâ€”this offers the potential to add to the group of friends, if only via phone or text.
Take it Slow: Easing Into Courtesy
I know, itâ€™s hard to shut the phone off during dinner. You probably didnâ€™t even realize you were being rude, and now youâ€™re addicted, so how do you stop? Or, perhaps you have extenuating circumstances that arenâ€™t quite an emergency, and you really are itching to check your email. The key, as with everything concerning courteous behavior, is open communication. Explain to your family that youâ€™re waiting for an important email, but youâ€™ll keep the phone on silent. Tell your significant other that the biggest game of the season is on tonight, and while youâ€™d rather be with them than watching it, you still have to check the score (as long as itâ€™s occasionally). Make no mistake, youâ€™re still choosing connectivity and information over your present company, and you should consider that when assessing your priorities, but chances are, theyâ€™ll let you off the hook. Once.
Good luck, and rememberâ€”keep it courteous.
911 by greefus_groinks
Movie Theater by stuttermonkey
Family on phone by veganstraightedge
Man driving by berberbulb
Phone is school by danzen
Girl on phone by jaye_elle