Earlier this year, I wrote an article listing a series of random thoughts, one of which focused on cell phone etiquette. I will now elaborate on this topic.
As I mentioned in that article, cell phones are supposed to be a backup phone, in case the landline phone is not working for whatever reason. Thus, the landline phone is supposed to be the primary phone.
But some people have decided to ditch their landlines phones and just have a cell phone. I think that is a mistake. First of all, you are less likely to lose or damage your landline phone than a cell phone. Second, not everyone is able to look up your cell phone number — just how many cell phone numbers are listed in the phone book? Third, as previously mentioned, it is a good idea to have both a landline phone and a cell phone. I should add that just because some people might not use landline phones for their homes, that will not be the case for business, public services, etc. Landline phones are not going away, nor should they.
Now for phone etiquette. Naturally, one should be polite when talking on the phone. But there are some other aspects of phone etiquette one needs to abide by. Some of these rules apply to both types of phones, whereas others apply to just cell phones.
1. Unless it is an emergency, it is impolite to call someone late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Example: when I was in college, a friend of my roommate called after midnight because he wanted to let my roommate know that he was in town and wanted to get together and hang out. I still don’t understand why he couldn’t wait until morning to call. Thus, calling between 10 PM and 6 AM (or even 7 or 8 AM) is usually frowned upon.
2. Unless you plan to call someone or are expecting a call, you need to keep your cell phone turned off. How many events, meals, business transactions, worship services, etc. have witnessed someone’s cell phone ringing? Whereas some people have responded to this scenario by turning their cell phone off, others have answered their phones (and perhaps engage in a lengthy conversation) thus showing complete disregard for those around them. The same scenario can even apply to texting.
3. When driving, keep the cell phone turned off. Too many accidents have occurred because someone had to talk or text while driving.
4. Try to avoid letting the cell phone being the focus of attention. It is a good idea of being aware of what’s going on around you instead of a call or text. I wonder how many people became victims of a crime (e.g. muggings, robberies) when they could have thwarted the criminal but didn’t because they were too busy with their cell phones.
So to sum it up, keep your landline phone, keep the cell phone as a secondary means of communication, and keep cell phone activity to a minimum.
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/exalthim/3242330704/