Mobile Phone Etiquette
Cellular telephones, or "cellphones", are an important
part of modern society. When "Miss Manners" wrote about
good manners and etiquette, mobile phones did not exist
nearly to the extent they do in our society today. In
an effort to assist cellphone users, we have written
up some guidelines to help people use their mobile phones
appropriately while navigating in polite society.
If you are going to "screen" your incoming calls
(i.e. using the CallerID feature to see who is calling
before deciding to answer the call or not), do not be
blatantly obvious about it. Colleagues and friends could
easily be offended, and if done in their presence, they
may make the assumption that you also screen and avoid
their calls or assign their calls a lower priority when
they are trying to reach you and you are with someone
Faking Dropped Calls
Everyone knows that cellular coverage can be spotty
at times, but do not make the mistake of intentionally
fabricating a "poor coverage" situation simply so you
can disconnect from a caller. While it may be humorous
at times, eventually callers will catch on to the ploy
and be angry about their dismissal.
Keep It Clean
When you are on a cellphone, you often don't have
the benefit of privacy, so keep the topics you discuss
G-rated -- you never know who may be listening to your
side of the conversation.
Keep The Volume Down
Be respectful to those around you. Your phone conversation
is not any more important than the live conversations
occurring around you. This is especially important to
remember since most people tend to unknowingly talk
a bit louder when using their cellphones. So keep your
vocal volume down, or excuse yourself and find a private
place to talk.
Ringtones should be business-appropriate. While
you might find a raunchy or vulgar ringtone humorous,
those around you may not... and especially in a "business"
situation. Ringtones featuring loud music or unusual
"noises" are also seldom appropriate for professional
business situations, so select your ringtones accordingly.
Not everyone has texting capabilities enabled on their
cellphones, and some may have to pay extra to receive
text messages. Be sure to ask friends and colleagues
for permission or approval before you send text messages
Give your full attention to the person you are speaking
to. It is incredibly rude to split your attention between
a person you are with, and another person on the phone.
Pick one or the other, and then give them 100% of your
Because of the likely possibility of dropped calls when
using cellphones, be sure to inform the person you are
calling that you are using a cellphone, so if by some
chance the call does get dropped, they will understand
that it was an unintentional disconnection.
One fifth of the homes in the United States
no longer have "landline" telephone service. Those residents
rely solely on their cellphones for communication. Adopt
"common sense" cellphone etiquette while using mobile
devices to communicate.
About the Author -
Sharon Housley is the VP of Marketing for NotePage,
Inc. a software company for communication software solutions.