Have you ever answered a call or a text while out on a date? According to 86% of singles polled by the online dating site Zoosk, the worst cell-phone related behavior during a date is “constantly glancing at a cell phone.” This offense outranks texting or taking a call. Unfortunately, rude cell phone behavior happens in business settings, too.
July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, an event I founded in 2002 with the intent to encourage others to be more respectful of their surroundings while using their cell phone. Want to improve your cell phone savvy? Here are eight tips.
1. Let your voicemail take your calls when you’re in meetings, courtrooms, restaurants or other busy areas. If you must speak to the caller, use the e-mail or text messaging feature or excuse yourself and find a secluded area.
2. Speak in your regular conversational tone and don’t display anger during a public call. Speaking loudly or showing emotion may distract those around you.
3. Use your vibrate function or turn off your phone in public places such as movie theaters, concerts, religious services, medical and dental offices, restaurants, etc.
4. If you are expecting a call that can’t be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.
5. Avoid interrupting meetings, social gatherings or personal conversations by answering your wireless phone, checking your voicemail, or texting someone. Discreetly excuse yourself if you must take a call.
6. Use discretion when discussing private matters or confidential information in front of others. You never know who is within hearing range.
7. When walking and talking on your wireless phone, be aware of your surroundings and remember to respect the rights of others.
8. Practice wireless responsibility while you’re driving. Place calls when your car is not moving. Don’t text or make or answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Use a hands-free device whenever possible.