Monday, August 20, 2012

A Short Rant On Cell Phone Etiquette

I think we make this more complex than it needs to be. Your mobile device shouldn't interfere with the interaction of the human you're conversing with or with other humans. Out of common courtesy and respect give your attention to the people and space around you. Given the social norms of today this probably isn't always practical. So, the next step is to be mindful of what you're doing. Texting heads down while your walking through a parking lot is affecting the movement of people around you. Talking loudly in line on your bluetooth headset is annoying and unsettling to those standing right next to you. Surfing the web, Facebook or playing games during a meeting is purely rude. We lose nothing by politely excusing ourselves to take a call, or standing out of the way while texting our spouse from the grocery store. In fact we become the example of what we'd like from others.

My growing suspicion is that we feel entitled to use our mobile devices whenever and wherever we want to and will happily justify every interaction. But this is slowly chipping away at our social bonds and connection to the world in which we live.

Here's a few more "pet peeves" ...

- I think it's an unspoken "ok" to text people a hair later/earlier than you'd phone them, or at certain other off-hours. I don't mind receiving quick, off-hours texts from colleagues about small things, and they don't seem to mind, either. It saves time and means we don't all have to feel as tied to our email, actually.

-It's generally not okay to text people in the middle of the night or to inundate people w/follow-up texts if they don't respond to your first text.

-While it's generally impolite to take calls in the middle of meeting with someone else, it's polite if you realize that your meeting-mate's phone is ringing off the hook, to ask with aplomb if s/he needs to take the call.

-It's okay to ask people not to contact you by some mobile method, or another. If you don't like to be texted, it's okay to express your preference, and others should respect it.

-If you don't know someone well but you have their email and their mobile number, don't text them. Email them.

-If I don't want to take someone's call, I never press the button that sends the call to VM immediately. I'd feel rude "telling" them I didn't want to answer. Instead, I just press the button that stops the ringing.

-It is not enough to turn off your ringer during live performances. I can tell you as a performer that it is extremely distracting to look out from the stage into a darkened audience and see the one jerk in the back whose glasses and face are lit up, and kind of flashing, by the light from his/her mobile device. So, so rude! Do they really think we don't notice?

-Don't run your family members' devices down and not charge them back up!

I would've finished this post earlier but I was typing this while walking down the street and walked directly into a telephone pole.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home