The explosion of smartphones has ushered in an era woefully lacking in etiquette and common curtesy in their usage. While common sense should dictate cell phone manners, it’s abundantly clear that fundamental courtesies need to be learned by many users. Manufacturers can include operating instructions and website links for maximizing a phone’s features, but they certainly won’t include instructions for cell phone etiquette. Follow these suggestions for using your phone in public.
Many companies have established cell phone policies in the workplace. If there are none such policies at your workplace, the first guideline is to never, ever look at your phone during a meeting. Leave your phone in the off and either in your purse or pocket during the meeting. If you arrive early, take the time to actually speak to the person sitting next to you. You might learn something about them or your company. That’s a risk worth taking. Put your phone down when someone approaches you and give them the respect of your full attention. Nothing on social media is more important that completing the task at hand and collaborating with your coworkers.
When out and about with friends, be in the moment. If you want to stay on your phone, stay home. Don’t hide behind your phone or fear that what’s unfolding on social media is somehow more tantalizing than enjoying the company or friends or family. If you’ve taken advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and purchased a cool new phone case from Macy’s, by all means share your new purchase, but don’t turn your phone on. You can certainly enjoy an evening with your friends without checking your phone.
Cell phone usage has become addictive. It’s eroding not only the communication skills of an entire generation, but its squashing imagination and creativity. Don’t succumb to the fear of missing out. Start fearing not living in the moment. Respect yourself and those around you when using your cell phone.