Friday, July 18, 2014

National Cell Phone Courtesy Month--Tips to Avoid Offending Others

I have always found it amazing how rude people can be when it comes to cell phones.  Most of the time, I don't even think they realize it.  Once, I was walking around Kohl's with my 2-year old daughter and a woman was shopping in the same area--baby clothes.  She was talking on her phone and obviously upset with the person she was talking too.   She was talking very loudly and was pretty annoying.  I tried to move away from her, but not before she let out a string of obscenities, including the F-word.  Fortunately, my 2-year old did not repeat that word.  Another time, I was in the children's section of the library and I could clearly overhear a mother talking to someone about a third-party and the organization they were part of.  She had no problem bashing this woman and the organization.  What she didn't realize, was that I knew both the woman and others who were part of the organization and now very clearly knew her negative stance about it all.  

I could go on and on about other situations and I am sure my readers have their own stories to tell.  So, in honor of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, I wanted to share these tips from etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore.

To avoid offending others, Whitmore offers this advice in honor of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month:

-          Be all there: When you're in a meeting, performance, courtroom or other busy area, let calls go to voicemail to avoid a disruption. In some instances, turning your phone off may be the best solution.

-          Keep it private: Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.

-          Keep your cool: Don't display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.

-          Learn to vibe: Always use your wireless phone's silent or vibration settings in public places such as business meetings, religious services, schools, restaurants, theaters or sporting events so that you do not disrupt your surroundings.

-          Avoid "cell yell:" Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don't recognize how distracting they can be to others.

-          Follow the rules: Some places, such as hospitals or airplanes, restrict or prohibit the use of mobile phones, so adhere to posted signs and instructions. Some jurisdictions may also restrict mobile phone use in public places.

-          Excuse yourself. If you are expecting a call that can't be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.

-          Focus on driving: Always practice wireless responsibility while driving. Don't make or answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Place calls when your vehicle is not moving, and use a hands-free device to help focus attention on safety. Always make safety your most important call.

For more of Jacqueline Whitmore's etiquette tips, visit

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