Welcome to Social Graces Saturday! Have you ever been in a public place, in a meeting, or at dinner with acquaintances and their cell phone use is bothersome in some way? I would be surprised if any of you answered no to this question. Cell phones are such an important part of our lives nowadays. I know that I feel lost without my phone. It fills so many roles in my life. It is my personal computer, my navigation system, my news agency, and my lifeline to my friends and family. However, with something this important also comes abuses or at least annoyances to the people around us. This Social Graces Saturday I am going to give you my top tips on cell phone etiquette.
Cell Phone Etiquette Tips
- I am a people watcher. Maybe you are too. I think it is so sad to see a couple out to dinner with each other and they aren’t speaking because they are both too busy looking at their phones. My first tip is if you are having dinner with someone give them your full attention and put down your phone. Be in the moment with them. I know some people say you must put your phone completely away. I use mine as my watch, so it’s important that I keep track of the time, especially if I am going to lunch with friends or have an appointment. I’m not going to tell you not to have your phone, but don’t let it keep you from engaging fully with the person you are with.
- This is related to my first tip but if you are in a meeting or other gathering, don’t be on your phone. Just today I was leading a meeting and the person across from me was on their phone. I’m sure answering emails, but it makes you feel like what you are doing or saying isn’t really important to them. I have my cell in meetings all the time, but out of courtesy to the person conducting the meeting I keep it on the table and wait to check emails or messages after we are done.
- Have you ever been shopping and there is someone just chatting away on their phone? I don’t know why this is irritating but it is. I know we all are busy and trying to multi task, but if I have the luxury of going out and doing some shopping the last thing that I want to hear about is your husbands’ bunions or the party you went to last night. Save your private conversations for when you are alone. If you feel you must have those conversations in public then please don’t discuss private matters or gossip. You never know who is in earshot.
- This next tip is one that I know we have all experienced. It seems like right as the couple is taking their vows, or as the baby is being baptized, or the heroine and hero are going to finally kiss, you hear an annoying ring tone. Please don’t be that person. If you are in church, or a movie, watching a play, or anywhere that a ringtone will make everyone stop and look at you, don’t have your cell phone on. If you cannot turn it off, then at least change the setting to vibrate so you can be alerted to a call or text but no one else is.
- When turning off your phone is not an option, such as you are on call, or you are expecting an important call and you are going to a meeting or gathering, tell everyone that you expect to be interrupted and apologize. Just giving them that courtesy goes a long way.
- Just be aware of the people around you. Don’t use your speaker phone in public. Don’t listen to music without earbuds. If you are streaming a video waiting for an appointment, again, use your earbuds. Not everyone wants to hear a how to on YouTube or listen to an episode of Game of Thrones.
- Lastly, don’t use your phone and drive unless it’s hands free. There are 1.6 million crashes per year due to using a cell while driving. About 390,000 injuries per year are caused from texting and driving. You are 6X more likely to cause an accident from texting and driving then driving while intoxicated. Looking at or answering a text will take your eyes off of the road for about 5 seconds. At 55 mph that will take your eyes off the road for approximately the length of a football field.
I hope you have enjoyed my top tips for cell phone etiquette. Until next time. Stay chatty, but stay safe, and as always… stay glamorous.
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