Cell phones. They’ve become such an integral part of our lives. Can you imagine being anywhere today without seeing someone talking or texting on their phone? Yes, cell phones have forever changed our lives. They allow us the ability to check on the kids when they’re not at school, be reachable in case of emergency and also be able to check work emails from home. Yet as valuable as they are who among us doesn’t have a story of a nice dinner out interrupted because the person at the next table was talking too loudly on their cell phone, hearing an annoying ringtone in the middle of a wedding or seeing a car swerve because someone was too distracted while driving?
In honor of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, which has been observed every July since 2002, OSG wanted to share some cell phone etiquette tips from protocol and etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore. Ms. Whitmore founded National Cell Phone Courtesy Month to make cell phone users more respectful of their surroundings. She offers many tips on her website but we wanted to share five with you today.
- Be all there. Whether you’re in a meeting, your child’s school play or a religious service, set your phone to send your calls directly to voicemail. Better yet, turn your phone off or turn it to silent so that you won’t disrupt those around you.
- Keep it private. Don’t discuss private or confidential information in public. You never know who might be listening.
- Avoid “cell yell.” Often people raise their voices when talking on their cell phones but it’s not necessary. Speak in your normal voice.
- (We love this one.) Be a Good Samaritan. According to CTIA, The Wireless Association, more than 224,000 calls a day are made to 911 and other emergency numbers by mobile phone users who report crimes and potentially life-threatening emergencies.
- Focus on driving. 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.