Cell phone etiquette — three simple courtesies

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Back in the ’90s seems when the cell phone began to appear on the public landscape. As the decade progressed, more and more cell phones popped in the grasp of passers-by. At first when I saw folks with cell phones I thought, “that’s cool!” And when I plucked up my own cell phone I thought, I’m cool!

Now, seeing someone lifting a cell phone bores me. It happens everywhere, and too oft. Yet more, I believe folks toting cell phones are susceptible to being boors. They tether themselves, per se, to that little device, and credit too much importance to it.

To the point of being rude to those around them. And what perplexes me, is that they conduct themselves oblivious to thoughts of courtesy.

However, I also understand that that little device can be mesmerizing.* Sometimes folks need reminders to slow down and re-consider the importance of that cell phone while they are among others.

Here are three simple etiquette prompts.
 When setting out to public places, adjust the phone to vibrate. You love your ring tone, yet it’s added noise to folks around you.
 If you’ll need to check the time while in good company, pocket the cell phone and wear a wrist watch. It puts the cell phone in its proper place while enjoying time together. And turning to a wrist watch shows care to the actual time, not to this potentially invasive device.
  When with company, put cell phone away. If you absolutely need to take a call, make point to excuse yourself. Make the call brief, tuck cell phone away, and return attention to the company at hand.

The mobile phone is a fine device. Yet we need to remember that it is what we carry into our social realm. ’Tis not to invade it. We exercise courtesy by taking acts to assure that it is not to consume our attention over the people around us.

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*Previous Jacquée T. ‘Love for Words’ feature: mesmerize.

 

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