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Where Are Your Cell Phone Manners?

People love their cell phones. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association reports that as of 2017, over 273 million people in the United States used cell phones compared with 78 million in 2010. People use their cell phones many times a day in many different places. They talk in the car or on a bus. They talk in the store or at the mall. They even talk on their cell phones during movies and worship services.

The growing use of cell phones has also created a growing culture of rude behavior. People are becoming so used to seeing and hearing cell phones that some have forgotten proper cell phone etiquette. Yes, there are some do’s and don’ts of cell phone use.

One of the worst habits of cell phone users is “cell yell,” or loud conversations in public places. Cell phone users need to respect the personal space of those around them. Loud, long rings are annoying. One should keep the ringer at a low volume or better yet, turn it to vibrate.

An easy adage to remember is, if the lights are off, your cell phone should be off too. It is rude to those paying moviegoers sitting next to you to hear your cell phone ring. It’s even ruder if you answer your phone and talk during the movie. The same is true for concerts, plays, musicals, lectures, and worship services. If the spotlight is not on you, you shouldn’t be talking. 

Respect the rules of those places that request no cell phone use on their site. When you make or receive calls, electromagnetic waves are sent through the air. Hospitals, for example, have many electronic devices and computers. When electromagnetic waves try to go through them, they could malfunction. Pay attention to cell phone policies in hospitals, especially in critical care areas. 

The next time you turn on your beloved cell phone, think of those around you. Help create a kinder world, not a ruder one.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners

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