Your Cell Phone: When to Use It and When to Lose It
We all know that person who hides behind his or her phone to avoid awkward encounters. That person might even be you! Since July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, let's take this opportunity to learn some cell phone etiquette. Here are some tips from the Huffington Post to help you spend more time in the present moment:
- Hidden Cell Phone: In the company of others, it's best to keep your phone out of sight. Whether you are in a business meeting, on a date or even casually hanging with friends, placing your phone on the table or desk sends the clear message that they are not your top priority.
- Silent Smartphone: It's mannerly to turn off your cell phone before meetings, meals, and meaningful moments — like dates! If you can't turn your device off, turn it to silent or vibrate.
- Exceptions: There are exceptions to every rule: 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) Researching something important, such as directions.
- Excuse Me: If accepting an emergency call, apologize and excuse yourself quietly and calmly.
- Consider Content Carefully: Remember, once a text, tweet or post is sent, it's live and exposed to the internet forever. Don't post inappropriate pictures and be sure to avoid profanity.
- 10-Foot Rule: When making or taking a call, move 10 feet away from the building to avoid disturbing or distracting others. Step outside when responding to a call while in a house of worship, medical office, library, theatre, or hospital. Refrain from confidential conversations in automobiles and on planes and trains.
- Don't Drive & Talk: Cell phone use while driving is banned in most states. If you must use the phone, drive to a safe area away from traffic. Safety first!
- The Cellular Crutch: Try not to use your phone when you're not sure what else to do in an uncomfortable situation. If you walk into a new office or even a party and don't know anyone, take time to engage with people face-to-face. Using your phone as a crutch will keep you from truly connecting with the people around you.
There's a great big world out there to explore, don't let your phone distract you from it! You never know whose face you may put a smile on.