(Black PR Wire) Do you oftentimes get annoyed when friends, family and colleagues incessantly text, email, make and accept calls on their cell phone? It goes without saying that cell phones have become an important part of our daily lives, but many of us often lose sight of the value of person-to-person contact. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, and it’s the perfect time to reflect on your mobile phone habits. Listed below are 8 cell phone etiquette tips to keep in mind all year long, taken from Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide:
- Keep your cell phone hidden: Whether you are attending an important business meeting, out on a date or even in a casual setting with friends, keep your phone out of sight. Placing your phone on the table or desk sends the clear message that the person you’re meeting with is not your number-one priority.
- Silence your smartphone: It’s mannerly to turn off your cell phone before meetings, meals, and meaningful moments. If you can’t turn your device off, place it on silent or vibrate mode. Your phone is not a replacement for an in-person meeting.
- There are exceptions to every rule: There are exceptions to every rule, when it comes to smartphone usage: A) Doctors, nurses, first responders, and health providers B) Those expecting emergency calls C) Those who have an infant with a babysitter or a person with a caregiver D) Those momentarily sharing photos with others E) Those researching an important request, such as directions.
- Politely excuse yourself: If accepting an emergency call, excuse yourself as quietly and calmly as possible with an apology. For example, “I apologize, however this is urgent, please excuse me. I hope to return in a moment.”
- Consider content carefully: With cell phones, spontaneity can be contagious. Remember, once a text, tweet or post is sent, it’s live. Sure, you can delete it, but it’s out there on the Internet, just waiting to bite you back!
- Remember the 10-foot rule: When making or taking a call, move 10 feet away from the building including windows. No one wants to see pacing or gesturing during your conversation. Step outside when responding to a call while in a house of worship, medical office, library, theatre, or hospital. Refrain from confidential conversations on planes, trains, and automobiles.
- Don’t drive & talk: Many localities now ban smartphone use while driving. If you must use the phone, drive to a safe area away from traffic. Safety always comes first!
- Don’t fall into the cellular crutch: Don’t use your phone when you are not sure what else to do in uncomfortable situations. If you walk into a new office or even a wedding reception and don’t know anyone, take time to engage with people face-to-face. Deferring back to your phone as a crutch will keep you from truly connecting with the people around you.