Guidelines for Cell Phone Use When Out in Public
We’ve all been that person having to endure the loud cell phone talker on the bus, the rude friend who interrupts your story to take a call, or the person at a party who won’t make eye contact with anyone because they’re too busy Facebooking. We all know the guidelines for cell phone use when out in public, or do we?
But what happens when you are that person?
Yes, we all know that even with the increasing need for on-the-go communication, at times we cross the line and become that totally rude person who is abusing their phone privileges at the expense of others. Personally, I need to learn to disconnect. And I’m trying to get better at it. It really is all about etiquette.
Below, find some guidelines to keep in mind when navigating the often confusing and boundary-lacking world of modern technology.
Log in and check messages at designated times.
Whether you’re at a full-time job, stay home to raise the kids, or work part time, it can be hard to put down the phone or stop emailing as constant updates come in from the various aspects of your life. A way to curb this overflow is to only check messages at certain times. Think of it this way: if you’re not online, then it doesn’t exist.
Have the necessary info up front.
A shopping list prepared in advance can help you avoid having to field that text from hubby reminding you “don’t forget pumpernickel bread.” Written-out directions to an unfamiliar place can alleviate the need to make that confused cell phone call or turn up the GPS while your son is trying to tell you how his day at school was from the back seat.
If it might annoy someone else, don’t do it.
Silence your cell phone when out and about. Avoid taking that call while on line at the bank. Make an effort to engage in more face-to-face conversation instead of hiding behind technology in public places like the park or a party. If you really must take that call or respond to that text, excuse yourself and attend to your business in an out-of-the-way area where you won’t be disturbing other people.
Break the rules only in dire situations.
Yes, sometimes that call from the doctor comes in while you’re checking out a library book. Sometimes you have to pick it up when a family member really needs you. Use your discretion and try to determine if this is an emergency or non-emergency situation.
If it’s too late to call, that means it’s too late to text.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a few glasses of wine, the baby took his first steps, or “you just know they can’t possibly be asleep.” The truth is, if it’s after hours and you beep in on someone’s phone, that’s rude. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
Don’t forget to read our other articles on cell phone use.
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