Hello? Is anybody listening?

After my last post about public courtesies (such as not talking too loudly on your cell in the local coffee shop), I realized it’s also important to touch on the basic manners of using your cell phone.  Are you surprised to know that overusing your cell can be damaging to your relationships? The resurrected Futurama even poked fun, creating its own “eye phone;” it suggests that people love to be way too involved with technology.


Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a cell hater.  Although I don’t have data on my phone (shocker!), I still appreciate everything that a smartphone does.  It can save people time and energy, not to mention it allows me to talk to my friends and family on a daily basis where I might otherwise not.  Even my grandparents are cell-phone-savvy (not to mention Facebook).

Yet, there are an abundance of times we use our phones when maybe we ought not. I’m not just talking about in class; I’ve texted over the teacher in necessity and to improve time management.  However, cell phones should never overrule the relationships that are most important to you.  But don’t just take it from me!  Below, I will provide you a list of quotes from the manners experts who wrap things up with some suggested guidelines.

From Emily Post’s Etiquette, “four cell phone never evers”:

  • Leaving the ringer on in quiet places (like a movie theatre, concert hall, or house of worship – not to mention weddings and special events, right?)
  • Ignoring those you’re with (like your friends and relatives – does your cell phone really mean more to you than them? Shame on you!)
  • Making repeated calls (keep calls to a minimum on the bus, train, or other busy places – even nosy people will tire of your voice.)
  • Using offensive language (really? Do I need to explain this one?)

Debrett’s A-Z of Modern Manners on texting:

Text messages are ideal for conveing a short, instant message. Don’t use them to communicate important information or anythign that needs a lengthy explanatiaon. If you have to cancel an appointment, alwyas make a phone call; apologies will be better received this way.

Don’t send or read text messages when you are out in company and turn your phone to silent when in a meeting or a ‘quiet zone’ on a train. Choose your text alert tone with care – a short bleep will suffice.

People in the flesh deserve more attention than a gadget.***

*** That last part is so important!  People are deserving of your time and respect.  If you’re out to dinner, give your attention to the person who is giving you his or her own.  The great thing about cell phones is you can return the call or text at your leisure – you don’t have to be attached to it.

Be respectful of the people who are right in front of you, or don’t be surprised when they stop returning your calls.

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4 thoughts on “Hello? Is anybody listening?

  1. Wait cell phones can be damaging to your relationship!? You mean pulling my phone out and texting during a romantic dinner is frowned upon!? (sarcasm)

  2. Nothing is more annoying than having dinner with someone who is constantly on their cell. I know a couple of people who could definitely benefit from reading this blog.

  3. I completely agree with this post, as amazing as I think cell phones are and I will admit I have become completely dependent on mine, there is a time and a place where they shouldn’t be on just out of respect for those around you. I cant even tell you how many times I have seen groups of friends sitting around a table and every one of them has thei phone out. It just looks flat out ridiculous!

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