Mobile Phone Manners Are Evolving

The use of cellular communication takes on many different manifestations, especially today. In previous times, answering any phone might have been considered ill mannered in the presence of others, so one stepped away to handle the call. Mobile phones now allow parties to communicate by using text, instant messaging (IM) and even e-mail, as well as voice.

It is now acceptable to use the cell phone at family gatherings, according to TMCnet.com. The use of the speakerphone feature is becoming more widespread. Other practices come out in the findings of a survey for cellular provider T-Mobile, completed by Ispos in 2006. Some of these survey results are:

  • 32 percent of respondents use IM for holiday communications
  • 23 percent use text messages
  • 22 percent use social networking sites
  • 65 percent use mobile phones to keep in touch over the use of greeting cards and other prior forms of communication
  • 47 percent still use traditional greeting cards and other prior forms of communication
  • 67 percent agree it is acceptable to use mobile phones during holiday gatherings
  • 73 percent agree that using a mobile phone can improve the holidays by keeping those people not there in touch with those at gatherings.

“Wireless communication makes it possible to include more people than ever before at family gatherings. Loved ones who can’t be there in person still can experience those special times remotely, through a steady stream of mobile calls, picture and text messages,” said Dr. Tracy Wellens, vice president of Customer Insight for T-Mobile USA, speaking to TMCnet.com.

RoadandTravel.com suggests several rules that should be followed by mobile phone users in different locations:

  • In restaurants, initiate only essential calls, ask if there are special restrictions on phone use, speak in a quiet, conversational tone and if you must be available, set your mobile phone to vibrate.

  • In theaters or meetings, check your voicemail during intermissions or breaks and if you must be available, set your mobile phone to vibrate.

  • On an airliner, turn off the phone when the aircraft doors close, consistent with airline personnel instructions.

  • In a restaurant, grocery store, airline ticket desk or while otherwise ordering anything, do not use your phone while ordering your meal, coffee or your airline ticket. Do not be rude by continuing to use the phone while nodding and trying to speak with the person on the other side of the counter.

A tip specified in a response to a letter to Ask Yahoo® would be helpful as well. The response reads, “Respect the personal space of others by taking your conversation 10 or more feet away from people. Ideally, take your phone call into a private place. Refrain from using your phone in a place where others can’t escape your conversation, such as in an elevator or on public transit.”

Another response in the Yahoo response reads, “Keep private matters private. Nobody wants to hear you fight with your spouse over your cell phone. If you use the phone for business, you could leak company confidential information when talking in public.”

TMCnet.com offers this realization. There is no need to answer every call coming into your mobile phone. Use your voicemail to communicate with callers when you cannot answer a call.

Some mobile phones offered by the wireless provider Cingular and manufactured by Motorola, might have the most reasonable words for all of us. When turning the phone off, the screen reads, “Be Safe Be Courteous.” A good addition to these words might be “Be Reasonable.”

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