June 19, 2010

At Last, Articulation of Etiquette for Cell Phones and I-Thingees

Monique Chartier

Further to my post about the inadvertent rudeness of modern technology, CNET's Jasmine France has put pen to paper ... er, electrons to screen and outlined some "Mobile Manners", starting with the date.

... I can't even begin to tell you how many stories I've read or heard regarding significant others' downright rude use of cell phones, so let's start with the cardinal rule: DON'T pick up your phone when you're out on a date. I don't care if you've been married to the person for 25 years--texting, gaming, surfing the Web, or otherwise engrossing yourself in your device while you're supposed to be enjoying a romantic evening with a real live human is completely unacceptable.

Yikes, this had to be specified??

Her list is fairly comprehensive and addresses the check-out situation I had witnessed at Whole Foods, one probably very familiar to most everyone,

On that same tip, DON'T talk on the phone while purchasing retail items or ordering food and drinks. Be polite to both the person serving you and the people behind you in line and end your call before you reach the counter.

as well as texting while walking down the street - that's a no-no because

We can all do without you running into us, and we'd hate to bear witness to tragedy when your distracted thumb-tapping causes you to meander out into traffic.

While Jasmine concludes with a crazy suggestion about occasionally leaving the device at home (let's not get carried away here), she has, without doubt, performed a major public service with the promulgation of these guidelines.

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These rules of etiquette are generally good. It is annoying when a person is so distracted by his/her phone or PDA that lines are held up at the bank, supermarket, etc. Put the thing down for a second!

I do, however, think it IS a good idea to keep your phone on your person whenever you go out for safety reasons. You want to be able to call for help in the event that you are involved in or witness an emergency (e.g., car accident, witness a person getting robbed, etc).

Posted by: Tabetha at June 19, 2010 10:23 PM

"You want to be able to call for help in the event that you are involved in or witness an emergency (e.g., car accident, witness a person getting robbed, etc)."

Or post the video to youtube...

Posted by: Patrick at June 20, 2010 8:10 AM


Posted by: Monique at June 20, 2010 8:27 AM

I generally duck away from the crowd if I'm out somewhere and I get or have to make a call.
But then, there's always somebody who thinks you're rude because you didn't let them hear your personal business.

Posted by: rhody at June 20, 2010 3:23 PM

One matter of cell phone etiquette that bothers me is that people are using their cell phone in a very public place and they have a very private conversation. They often share information that I would rather not know about. People should keep private conversations private.

I ran across a website that offered a lot of different tips on phone etiquette. It is at http://www.modern-manners-and-etiquette.com/telephone-etiquette.html and I hope others find it useful as well.

Posted by: melito at June 21, 2010 8:43 AM
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