Gail Kasper, Author, Television Host, Certified Fitness Trainer, and Motivational Speaker
We all love the ability to connect and interact, almost instantaneously, 24/7, with friends, family, potential employers/employees, and potential customers and clients. Pervasive cell phone use is here to stay and is steadily increasing, but we have never really learned the proper way to stay connected, without offending others.
We all know people who are guilty of being rude or obnoxious in the use of their mobile phone, and sometimes the guilty party is ourselves. A poll by national market research group Synovate reveals that nearly 72% of Americans believe that loud public conversations are the most offensive bad cell phone habit, and nearly seven out of 10 individuals polled, or 68%, indicated they see poor cell phone etiquette daily.
I’m sure you have your own pet peeves but cell phone rudeness can be very, very annoying. “Please Do Not Use Your Cell Phone Here” signs are popping up all over, indicating just how irritating it can be for people to share public spaces with inconsiderate cell phone users. Make a firm resolution that the offending party not be you. If you’re still not sure why friends and strangers are staring at you with irritated expressions while you’re on your phone, then this article is definitely for you.
Cell Phone Etiquette Tips:
1.Don’t even think about talking into your cell phone in a confined space where people are within ten feet of you. This includes elevators, business meetings, lectures and live events, movie theaters, museums, libraries, places of worship, restaurants, funerals, weddings, bathrooms… and the list goes on. You shouldn’t have to memorize a list of forbidden places to know if making a call is going to be considered rude or not. Before you make that call, look around. If anyone is within earshot, either get their permission or don’t make the call. Would you light a cigarette in a public place? Most states have laws concerning the dangers posed by second-hand cigarette smoke. Perhaps laws regulating second-hand cell phone conversations should be not too far behind.
2.Let your fingers do the talking. Texting is far less irritating to most and, in public situations, a much safer alternative to your voice. In speech we can meander and blather on and on, whereas texting a message forces you to be succinct and to the point. Do us all a favor though and put your key strokes on silent, the incessant “bleep, bleep” as you type, to some, can be as annoying as the proverbial finger nails on a chalkboard.
3.Your cell phone should have voice mail. Just because your phone rings doesn’t mean that you have to answer it. If you’re not in a position to take the call, let it go to voicemail. If the call is important they will leave you a message. Even if they don’t, you can still see who it was. It gives you the option of texting them back right away, calling them back at a later time, or doing nothing.
4.Did you really pay for that ring tone? Your choice of music is as individual as your choice in ring tone so please bear in mind that not everyone may be as big a fan of Death Metal Sputnik’s music as you are. Even if I have only to hear it for thirty seconds it may be thirty seconds too much. Turning your cell phone to vibrate wins you friends and can save you the cost of unnecessary ring tone downloads.
5.Don’t be so loud. It may not matter to you that I can hear every word of your personal conversation but it does to me. Unless you’re spouting gems of wisdom that I find fascinating, hearing about a day in the life of Joe Average is of little value to me. I have my own laundry list of things to get through today without worrying about someone else’s as well.
6.Get permission to take the call. If you are in company, including family, and a call comes through that you feel you must take, check with your company first. Keep it short and for heaven’s sake make it sound like the call really is important. Answering the call with a casual, “What’s up?” and then shooting the breeze for several minutes will not endear you to your present companions. Family is no exception. If they are spending time with you, they deserve consideration, as well.
7.Don't text in the Dark. The lights are dimmed and the boss is giving a power point presentation (or even worse, you're in a movie). It may be boring but don’t give yourself away and annoy the rest of the group by lighting up the space and your face by texting.
8.Don’t talk or text while driving or operating machinery. It doesn’t matter how great a multi-tasker you consider yourself to be, you are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident driving while holding a cell phone to your ear.
Just as with social etiquette in general, cell phone etiquette concerns itself with people having proper manners, a respect and consideration for others. If someone doesn’t hold open a door for you as they pass, they most likely won’t be too concerned about other social graces such as when to use and when not use their cell phones. We may not be able to control what others may do or not do, but we should have control over our own thoughts and behavior. Just because other people are behaving in a certain way doesn’t mean it is acceptable behavior for all. You know what cell phone behaviors bother you. Most likely, what bothers you bothers other people as well. Before you pick up that cell phone, consider your own cell phone pet peeves first and be careful not to commit a cell phone faux pas. Those within earshot may love you for it!
About Gail Kasper: Mid-1998, Gail Kasper started her business from a small one-bedroom apartment, in the middle of bankruptcy, with no money in the bank. Today, Gail is one of the nation's leading speakers, author, Top 1% Club Mentor, a television host, advice columnist, Certified Fitness Trainer, Ms. Continental America 2008, and the creator of SAD-T™ (Systematic Attitude Development-Technique™). A former Contributing Editor to Success Magazine with the "Ask Gail" column and host of the "Ask Gail" segment on the Comcast morning show, Gail is the author of her self-help autobiography Another Day Without A Cage: My Breakthrough From Self-Imprisonment To Total Empowerment and the self-help parable Unstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve Your Goals. With national media appearances that include Inside Edition, The Today Show, FOX Business News, and Oprah and Friends, Gail has earned the ranking of an in-demand national media personality who has been the topic of discussion on Regis and Kelly. The current host of the Philadelphia Visitors Channel, she has also made numerous appearances on network affiliates that include ABC, FOX, CW11, Comcast, and CBS, where she co-hosted the Emmy award-winning America's TVJobNetwork. www.gailkasper.com
This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com.