Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
Cell phones are everywhere, they are a pleasure and oft times a necessary evil. Land lines have given way to cell phones, we talk, we text, we send cute pictures, but have we forgotten our manners along the way? I call this article "Rethinking Cell Phone Courtesy" but I do wonder if we have ever given cell phone courtesy any thought at all.
My bank has signs that request that you do not use your cell phone while conducting bank business at the customer window. If you are talking while stepping up to the teller's window, one teller waits politely while you talk, it is the perfect ploy to make you cut your conversation short.
With texting it seems that no place is sacred, nor the text conversations truly private. There is the broad smile or frown, even the soft chuckle. Also those cool and clever rings to let you know a call or text is coming through can be as annoying as someone standing in front of you waving their arms and shouting look at me, look at me. Many businesses have now posted signs requesting that cell phones be put on vibrate or turned off. And not a moment too soon.
Are you guilty of noise pollution by talking loudly on your cell phone? Of loudly sharing intimate details and secrets? If you have been part of the problem this may be a good time to rethink your cell phone use and practice certain courtesies.
Using Cell Phones in Public Places
If you are in a restaurant and you must make telephone call, excuse yourself and step outside or move a more private place to use your cell phone. You should do the same when answering your cell phone or do not answer. If not answering sends you in panic mode, or you must answer, keep the call brief and speak quietly so you do not disturb other people. Also, remember to turn your cell phone down or on vibrate. The same applies to texting, perhaps more so, have you ever felt ignored because your friend was texting while you were speaking?
It is against the law to use your cell to talk or text while driving. In addition to a fine and a ticket, you may cause an accident. If your cell phone rings let the call go to voice mail or if you feel you must answer, find the first available and safe place to stop and answer. Don't rush to respond to a text, it will still be there when you arrive at your destination. A changing light or a jaywalker and a cell phone can be a deadly combination. Be a responsible driver and don't take a chance talking or texting or your cell phone while driving. The life you save could be your own.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) shows Cellular Phone and Texting While Driving Laws on their site.