July – National Cell Phone Courtesy Month – Week 1

July 4, 2019

“Visiting a neighbor’s home and engaging in congenial conversation is fast becoming a lost art. Polite verbal exchanges once familiar and customary in centuries past have gone the way of electronic surrogates: texting, e-mail and smart phones.” (Excerpted from an article by Ty Pelfrey in The Union, Grass Valley, CA, Jan., 2011). While the author of this quote seems to spurn the popularity of cell phones, the fact of the matter is cell phones have offered its users an unknown level of convenience.

Cell phones make it possible for everybody to stay connected and available at anytime and anyplace. Cell phones are needed for personal safety, work, staying in touch with family and friends, etc. Cell phones have become such a part of one’s life that many feel they would be lost without one. However, this feature has posed ambivalent feelings, especially when cell phone courtesy is slowly becoming a forgotten principle. Today people in public are unexpectedly exposed to one side of a two-party private interaction, which has not only blurred the boundaries between public and private places but has become frustrating.

Cell phones have become the norm in our society rather than the exception; therefore, it is proper to highlight cell phone courtesy. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. It is an observance Jacqueline Whitmore founded a few years ago with the intent to encourage the increasingly unmindful corps of cell phone users to be more respectful of their surroundings by using some simple cell phone etiquette principles. This topic is timely as there are millions of cell phone users in the United States alone and millions of cell phones ring irritatingly every day.

In fact, many have undoubtedly been in situations where someone nearby was not being so courteous with their cell phone. For example, does this sound familiar: You’re on a train or plane, in an elevator, mall, or restaurant and someone is talking on their cell phone very loudly. You look around because you wonder if you are the only one who is being annoyed by their blatant rudeness. Sometimes you can motion to them to quiet down, but it always seems as if the person on the phone does not care if they are disturbing others. With the steady rise in cell phone users beginning as young as 4 years old, there are campaigns to encourage more people to employ etiquette when using cell phones. Thus, by request of readers, we will re-run this series this month for that purpose. Next week we will look at some rules for using one’s cell phone at work. In Week 3, we will address cell phones and worship. In the conclusion, we will offer practical tips to take to avoid offending others when using your mobile phone. I hope you will join us this month as we tackle a much-needed topic: Cell Phone Courtesy.

“Technology does not trump thoughtfulness. Infringing on the rights of others reflects poorly on you and certainly isn’t what wireless technology is about.” — Tom Wheeler, President/ CEO, Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association

Next Week: Practical rules for cell phones at work

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.