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How to Practice Proper Cellphone Etiquette

Don't make people around you wish that cell phones had never been invented. Mind your manners by following a few simple rules.


  • Step 1: Don't answer your phone Don't answer your phone and start chatting away if you are in the middle of an in-person conversation. If you're expecting an important call, set your phone to vibrate, and then excuse yourself and go elsewhere to chat if the call comes in.
  • Step 2: Answer your phone If you are not near enough to your phone to answer it within three rings, silence the ringer or turn it off -- especially at the office.
  • Step 3: Don't assume it's off If a phone rings somewhere inappropriate, like in a theater or during a church service, double check that it's not yours, even if you're "positive" you turned it off or silenced it.
  • Step 4: Rethink your ring tone Rethink your ring tone. Consider whether the volume or song snippet you chose might disturb some people. If it might, set your phone to vibrate.
  • Step 5: Show some consideration Keep your voice down and the conversation brief when speaking on your cell phone in public. If you have to shout to be heard, make the call elsewhere. Never curse or talk about intimate matters when you're out and about.
  • Step 6: Keep your checking in check Keep your message-checking in check when you're with others by setting time limits; say, one peek per hour.
  • Step 7: Don't dine and phone If you must use your phone during a meal, excuse yourself to do so. Don't leave it on the table, lighting up with alerts; and don't sneak it underneath the tablecloth to check messages or sports scores.
  • Step 8: Don't talk and drive Don't talk and drive. It annoys 61 percent of your fellow motorists, even though over half of all drivers admit using a cell phone while driving.
  • TIP: Cell phone use -- even if you are using a hands-free device -- also quadruples your risk of a collision.
  • Step 9: Don't drink and dial Don't call anyone after you've had a few too many. It's never a good idea.
  • FACT: Most Americans are opposed to lifting the ban on cell phone use during flights, according to numerous surveys.

You Will Need

  • Consideration
  • Common sense

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