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Cell Phone Etiquette

May 27, 2008
Cell phones have made their way into all aspects of our culture in a, sometimes, rather invasive way. The constant use of cell phones has led many businesses to post signs stating that cell phone usage is prohibited in their location. Following a few basic etiquette rules about your cell phone usage will ensure that you never offend those around you.

Restaurants

There is now a growing trend among restaurants to institute a no cell phone policy during dining hours. Before sitting down, you might want to check the restaurants policy on cell phone usage during the dinner service. If you absolutely have to be reachable during your dinner you can put your phone on vibrate so as not to disturb your dining companions. If you do accept a call, speak softly and keep the calls brief; letting the caller on the other end know you are trying to enjoy dinner.

Movie Theatres

Before the feature attraction starts, almost all movie theatres display messages on the screen urging their guests to be courteous and turn off their cell phones for the duration of the movie. If you are waiting for an urgent message or phone call, turn your phone on vibrate and be sure to exit the theatre before answering the call. No one wants to be the center of attention for being the inconsiderate person who interrupts the movie.

Restrooms

It may sounds unusual, but with the urge to be constantly reachable many cell phone users have extended their cell phone use to include the moments where they really should be considerate of the privacy of others! There are very few reasons to use your cell phone when you are in a public restroom, be considerate not only of the other people in the public restroom but of the caller on the other end.

Zoos, Aquariums, Museums

Spending a day with your family at a zoo or museum is great for educational family time; however, spending most of the day glued to your cell phone is not only inconsiderate of the needs of your family, but also to others spending time in the zoos, aquariums, and museums. Spend the time with your family, not with your cell phone.

School

Middle schools and high schools have restricted the usage of cell phones on their campus; often forbidding cell phone usage outright. However, the restrictions in colleges are a little more lenient. Be considerate of not only of the time of your lecturers but also of the time of your classmates; they are there to learn, not to listen to you telling your buddy all about your date last night.

Social Functions

If you are attending a party or even something as informal as a backyard barbeque, it is just common courtesy to turn off your cell phone. If you are expecting a phone call that cannot wait until after the social function, let your host know that you are expecting a call. When you do receive the call be sure to excuse yourself politely to take the call; talking loudly on the phone while in someone else's home is beyond inconsiderate; it's rude.

Hospital And Doctors Offices

Most hospitals post signs instructing visitors to turn off their cell phones; this is not necessarily because the phones interfere with sensitive equipment, even though often they do. It is more because cell phones can interfere with patients who have to listen to someone talking loudly and rudely. Turn off your phone while in a hospital or doctors office, for the consideration of those around you.

When you are in social situations, try to think of your cell phone as only to be used in case of emergencies. All other phone calls can be sent to voicemail for checking at a later point.
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