Have you ever ran into people at dinner or at the office that have no idea about cell phone courtesy? There are some unwritten rules about cell phone etiquette that not everyone has figured out. In some cases, they know it’s not ideal but they don’t care because they may feel their calls are too important to miss.
When a rude cellphone user answers their phone anywhere despite warnings that cell phones should be turned off, you know you are dealing with a person that doesn’t follow cell phone courtesy in public. Don’t be that guy, and learn how to be respectful while still being able to know when important calls are coming through. Here are some tips on cell phone courtesy in public.
Avoid being Offensive
While you can’t please everyone’s opinions and feelings towards cell phone use, the key is to make good choices in various situations. When you are outdoors walking down the sidewalk, it’s not necessary to have cell phones turned off. When you are in a place of worship where it’s understood to be a quiet place before you enter, you would be rude to allow your cell phone to make noise. Take the proper precautions to make good decisions without constantly worrying about pleasing everyone’s opinions.
Turn off Cell Phone when Asked
Most times, if someone is asking you to turn off a cell phone, it’s with good intentions. Their reason for asking is most likely to better serve you and others near you rather than to restrict you from your personal freedom to use a cell phone. Assume people have the best intentions when asking you to turn off your phone and that it’s most likely that the noise will cause an issue.
Leave the Area When using your Phone
If you are in a situation where cell phone use is acceptable, try to distance yourself from others while using it. It’s disruptive to others to hear you on the phone. This allows you privacy to talk while it allows them to have peace and quiet or focus on what they are trying to do. Keep at least a 10foot distance. Don’t talk on phones in an enclosed space like a public bus or a business.
Watch your Level of Noise
Even if you are following these guidelines, make sure you are not talking too loudly. You shouldn’t have to shout to be heard, so make sure you are not doing so and disrupting people around you. Don’t use speaker phone, which forces other people to listen to your call. It also may frustrate the caller that was expecting privacy. Maintain privacy so that your personal details aren’t public knowledge and if needed, switch to texting.
Don’t use the phone while driving, waiting in line or shopping. It’s easy to make mistakes when multi-tasking and you could end up hurting someone if you drive while on the phone. Even while walking, you could bump into someone or hurt yourself if you are trying to use the phone without paying attention to where you’re going.
Places that Phones aren’t Acceptable
Do not turn on your phone in quiet places like a place of worship, library, auditorium, waiting room or bathroom. Hospitals typically don’t want you to disturb patients and schools won’t want students distracted by a ringer.
Watch your phone at funerals, movie theaters, weddings and live performances. Keep your phone off when enjoying a meal with someone or they may feel unimportant to you. You can always leave it on vibrate or on silent while checking occasionally to make sure you don’t have any important missed calls or text messages.
Use these tips to display cell phone etiquette in public.