July – National Cell Phone Courtesy Month – conclusion

July 25, 2019

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

According to Jacqueline Whitmore, one of the nation’s foremost experts on etiquette and protocol, wireless phone users can take these steps to avoid offending others:

1. Be all there. When you’re in a meeting, performance, courtroom or other busy area, let calls go to voicemail to avoid a disruption. In some instances, turning your phone off may be the best solution.

2. Keep it private. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.

3. Keep your cool. Don’t display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.

4. Learn to vibe. Use your wireless phone’s silent or vibration settings in public places such as business meetings, religious services, schools, restaurants, theaters or sporting events so that you do not disrupt your surroundings.

5. Avoid cell yell! Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don’t recognize how distracting they can be to others.

6. Follow the rules. Some places, such as hospitals or airplanes, restrict or prohibit the use of mobile phones, so adhere to posted signs and instructions. Some jurisdictions may also restrict mobile phone use in public places.

7. Excuse yourself. If you are expecting a call that can’t be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.

8. Send a message. You can text to send and receive messages without saying a single word. However, never, ever text while driving.

9. Watch and listen discreetly. New multimedia applications such as streaming video and music are great ways to stay informed and access the latest entertainment. However, adjust the volume based on your surroundings in much the same way that you would adjust your ringer volume. Earphones are a great way to avoid distracting others in public areas.

10. Focus on driving. Practice wireless responsibility while driving. Don’t make or answer calls when driving unless you use a hands-free device to help you focus attention on safety. Even then use discretion. You should NEVER text while driving. NEVER. Always make safety of yourself and others on the road your most important call.

Beloved, it is rude and obnoxious to use cell phones and speak loudly in places like movie theaters, funerals, places of worship or in offices. People are talking on cell phones anywhere and everywhere, including the restroom, which is quite infuriating, if not downright disgusting. Many feel they must be reachable anytime every day. This type of thinking only creates a headache for you and those around you. Admittedly, the world has evolved into a community where the use of cell phones is growing rapidly. In fact, some have argued that the cell phone will eventually subsume all forms of communication. The new generation of cell phones allows users to access voicemail, email, surf the Internet, chat on social media, Facetime, read the newspaper, watch movies, etc. The impact cell phones have on our culture is great. But that should not replace time honored values such as politeness, civility, respect and courtesy. It would be a great help to all for everyone who use cellular devices to follow etiquette rules when in public places; especially in places where it may be considered quite vulgar if you use or even answer your cell phone when it rings. Also, teach your children cell phone etiquette so that it does not become a forgotten principle.

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.