Cell phones are everywhere—and that means more chances for them to be used in a rude or annoying way. Here are four tips for good cell phone manners:
- Turn it off. If the ringing of your phone is going to bother the people around you—especially if you’re in a meeting, at a play or movie or concert, or in a quiet place like a library or church—turn your phone off or switch the ringer to silent or vibrate mode.
- Step away. Whenever you’re around other people and you receive or make a cell phone call, move a short distance away so that you can talk without disturbing the people around you. If you’re with a group, simply excuse yourself for a few minutes: “Sorry, I need to take this call. I’ll be right back.” Then keep the call as brief as possible.
- Don’t say anything personal, private, or confidential if you’re in a place where others might be able to overhear you. Instead, arrange a time to call back when you can speak privately.
- Watch the volume. For some reason, people’s “phone voices” are always louder than the voice they use in normal conversation. Add to that the noise of a busy sidewalk or the background noise of a public place, and the urge to shout can become overwhelming. But remember—you’re the one fighting to hear over the noise, not the person you’re speaking with. So give everyone a break, and remember to tone it down.