iProtocol: Phone Etiquette

Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE

Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE

Cell phones are everywhere and it seems that everyone has one. From those as young as six to octogenarians, a cell phone seems to be permanently attached to their hands. With this popularity comes a new set of problems; when and where it is appropriate to use them? A cell phone can be used to make calls, but it can also be used for entertainment, gathering and sharing information, banking and music; the list goes on.
Look around any gathering; heads are bent as people look down at their phones. Connecting to this technology doesn’t mean we should disconnect from each other.

If we become more wary of how we conduct ourselves, then we can help facilitate the dying art of personal and intimate conversation without alienating it with modern technology. Here are some tips:

Remember to speak softly; microphones on today’s phones are very sensitive. Be courteous when on a group outing; silence the phone to avoid interrupting conversation or activities; voicemail is there for a reason.       Foul language is always inappropriate when it can be overhead and avoid airing dirty laundry. When with others and expecting a call, ask if it is alright to answer and then step away when the call comes in and be brief. When in places of worship, theatres, libraries or restaurants, always turn the phone off. Even on vibrate, it can still disturb others. If the phone must be kept on, use “silent” mode instead and move away from others to take the call.
Do not text during class or at a meeting-it is unprofessional and disrespectful to the instructor or speaker. Once a text or photo is sent, there is no way to get it back, so be careful about the information shared. Never drive and use the phone at the same time. Common courtesy and common sense equals being in charge of the phone, not the phone being in charge of your world.