Cell Phone Etiquette
Posted by Steph Perine on Jul 17, 2018
Over 90% of American adults own a cell phone, with the number increasing to 97% for the 18-34 year old age bracket. The usefulness of cell phones is unquestionable.
They make it possible to call for help in emergencies, check in with family and friends when we are running late, and even stay in touch with loved ones across the globe. Unfortunately, they also make it really easy to take attention away from what’s right in front of you. In recognition of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month we have compiled a short list of top tips for polite and courteous cell phone etiquette that will help ensure you are putting people first and technology second.
Put Your Phone Away
Thanks to their compact size, cell phones fit easily into a pocket or a purse. Yet, many people prefer to keep their phone always in sight. When the screen is constantly visible, every notification from incoming emails, text messages, social media, and more, can distract you from the present moment. Put your phone away during meals, while out with friends or family, when you are at any sort of ticketed event, while tending to small children, and every time you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Be Courteous of Others
There are times when you absolutely have to take a call. However, it’s important to be respectful of others when you answer a call in a public or shared space. If possible, excuse yourself and find a private place to have your conversation and always speak quietly or in a normal tone appropriate for the setting. By doing this, you allow others to continue their conversations and activities while you step away. Then return to your party, with your phone put away, as soon as you are able.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Whether you are texting a friend or catching up on the latest news, looking at your phone screen takes your attention away from your physical surroundings. There are innumerable videos available online, showing people engrossed in their phones completely unaware of hazards in their area until they walk directly into them. However, it’s not just a safety issue. If your focus is on your phone, you are likely to miss the beauty and surprises of the world around you.
Unplug Completely for Family
Summer time is vacation time for many families. Don’t let your phone distract you from being fully present for the most important people in your life – your family. Whether taking a road trip, spending the day at the beach, or just sharing a meal, when you spend time with your family, you are creating memories that will last a lifetime. When you put your phone away for family time, you are showing your family that they are your priority and modeling polite cell phone etiquette for your children.
Technology should enhance your relationship with the world around you, not detract from it. Appropriate cell phone etiquette is not only courteous and respectful, it helps ensure that you are in control of your phone not the other way around.