Cultivating good cell phone etiquette
From New Straits Times (Malaysia)
AN acquaintance, let's call her Y,
insists on wearing her cell phone around her neck. She says it helps her avoid
misplacing the phone which according to her, is an essential item in her daily
life. This is reasonable, considering what a busy person she is. However, Y is
one of the many mobile phone users who have a bad habit, and that is, talking
too loudly on her trendy telecommunications tool.
Just the other day, while a group of us were having tea, Y's cell phone rang
loudly. Without hesitating, she answered the call and proceeded to speak in a
louder-than-normal tone while everyone else pretended not to notice and continue
eating. After it ended 10 minutes later, our hostess asked with a straight face,
"Did your friend get the message loud and clear?" Y simply shrugged. Her excuse?
"The phone is too small. The mouthpiece is too far from my mouth. So I have to
talk louder!" Believe it or not, there is something called good cell phone
etiquette. And, given that the use of mobile phones is so widespread, good phone
manners are quite important. For instance, what do you think of people who make
or answer calls at inappropriate times, like during funerals or weddings? For
some pointers on good cell phone manners, surf Cellular Phone Etiquette at the
site http://www.cell-phone-etiquette.com. This simple, straightforward site
outlines interesting guidelines for different environments.
In Public Places, for example, you'll read about the importance of personal
space. This involves being considerate enough not to let others hear your
conversation. While you may not think it a big deal, many people get
uncomfortable or annoyed when they have to listen to other people's intimate
And, have you ever gone out on a date only to discover that your love interest
prefers yapping on the phone instead of paying attention to you? If so, he or
she may need to read the section called On a Date. The site talks about how you
can politely tell people in advance if you have to take or make a call while
you're with them.
Other environments discussed are Restaurants, Parties, and On the Job.
Similarly, Cell Manners at http://www.cellmanners.com aims to promote civility
between cell phone users and the people around them. This site has a more
light-hearted approach to the subject, and does a good job of presenting more
than just guidelines.
In Tales from the Cell Wars, you'll find a compilation of odd and amusing
stories. In one supposedly true story, a British minister had an embarrassing
moment when her mobile phone started ringing in a meeting with HRH Queen
Elizabeth. You can read all about the Queen's amusing reply in "We Are Still Not
Amused." Equally amazing is the story of a man who actually climbed into a
sleeping lion's cage to retrieve the cell phone he dropped. Well, you can guess
what happened after the phone started ringing, rudely arousing the lion.
In the Forum, surfers can submit questions or complaints about bad cell phone
etiquette. A "cell manners specialist" answers the questions and among other
things, explains how to effectively use what the site calls a "cell glare".
This brings us to the section called Cell Slang, an excellent collection of
terms and phrases related to mobile phone use and users. Some of the more
memorable terms are "Cellfishness", "Cell Hell", "Cell Yell", "Cellphonitis",
and "Dead Ringer". Be sure to check out the definitions and submit your own
funny terms to the editors.
Meanwhile, Saved by the Cell includes news items on how mobile phones have come
in handy during times of crisis. And in Researchers Have Found, you'll read
fascinating anecdotes such as the one about a Danish bird that started singing
ringtones overhead from a mobile phone.
Well, the next time you power up your mobile phone for use, it's a good idea to
keep in mind the do's and don'ts involved. In some cases, it's not just about
common courtesy, it's also about the safety and comfort of those around you.