With the numerous technological advancements today, one of the biggest blessings to the field of communication is the cell phone. You feel so much at ease when you know that you can contact or update your loved ones about your whereabouts or seek help in an emergency. However, as there are exceptions to every scenario, mobile phones tend to become a nuisance for the majority, when an individual misuses it, or is unaware of the basic 'etiquette'.
Cell phone etiquette comprises a few simple guidelines of following common courtesy when using a mobile device in public. It is important to understand that the general public is not interested in your private conversations, arguments, details, official business meetings, or intimate information, that is loudly discussed on your mobile phone.
Keep it Short and Sweet
When you are in a public place like a shopping mall, theater, restaurant or even an elevator, keep your conversations brief. You can get back to the caller when you are in a private space and where your conversation does not disturb the people around you. When you are watching a movie in a theater with hundreds of other people, make it a point to switch off your cell phone, and keep it in silent mode. Remember that phones should be switched off in movie theaters, playhouses, or any other public place, that creates an atmosphere to elevate the imagination of the audience. People pay good money to be entertained, not for something that spoils the illusion.
Multitasking is Not a Good Idea!
Refrain from talking on your mobile phone while driving. Multitasking on the road can be dangerous and can lead to accidents. If it is anything urgent, upsetting, or distracting, stop the car, pull over to a corner of the road, and then speak. Do not talk and drive simultaneously. By doing that, you are risking the lives of many other people on the road while risking your own too.
Follow Common Courtesies
Turn off your phone before job interviews, presentations, official meetings, or boardroom meetings. Leave it off at funerals, weddings, or any place where a quiet atmosphere is mandated, such as a courthouse, museum, library, place of worship, or any public venues. It is a question of being considerate and to empathize with other people's needs and convenience as well. When it so happens that you need to answer an important call, ask the people around you "Do you mind if I make a call?" or "Can I answer this?"
Intimate public gatherings such as restaurants, public restrooms, waiting rooms, hallways, buses, subways are all places where a private conversation is not possible. In such places, when you are forced to stand close to others they are also forced to overhear your private conversations. At such times, you can practice good cell phone etiquette. You can put the ringer on silent or vibrate mode or let the call roll over to the voice mail. Alternately, if it is an important call that you must take, step outside or into a secluded area to return the call.
Many cell phone users tend to speak loudly. Little do they realize that there is a microphone in the gadget that is perfectly capable of hearing a normal voice tone. When you are not heard, do not shout over the phone interrupting everyone around you. You may appear rude and uncouth to the onlookers. Get up and move to a secluded place or exit to the back hall to receive the signal or to make calls. At times, when you are not aware that you are loud, take your cue from the response of those around you. If the connection is bad, tell the caller that you will call back when you find a spot with better coverage. Short text messages (SMS) in silence are ideal in such situations.
Cell phone etiquette is essentially about being considerate of others and to remain empathetic and conscious to other people's needs as well as convenience.