Are you one of the millions who get interrupted by the cell phone ring of others at work, in restaurants, events, churches, and even funerals? Now that you have been disturbed by the ring, the experience only gets worse as the person talks loud without excusing himself from the room. This situation is what we call noise pollution and a lack of cell phone courtesy.
To help create a less disturbing environment many public places have posted signs asking people to turn their cell phone to vibrate or off. Cell phone companies have tried to address the pollution by creating awareness of the problem and establishing July as National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.
To be respectful of the people around you start practicing some basic cell phone do’s and don’ts. The following tips will help you become a courteous cell phone user and reduce the noise pollution:
- Meetings. While in your office, on a sales call, in a meeting, turn your ringer off. Let your voice mail take a message and schedule certain times where you’ll be checking messages.
- On Call. If you are required to be accessible at all times, place your phone on vibrate and put it in your pocket. When the phone rings you will feel it and not disturb the people around you.
- Expecting a Call. If you are meeting with people and expect an important call, let others know that you will be checking your phone and you may be interrupted. If the call comes in, excuse yourself from the room then return to the group promptly.
- Public Places. Be considerate of the people around you when you are in public places such as the grocery store, mall, airports, and restaurants. I know it sounds crazy, but you don’t have to be on your phone the entire time during dinner. Click To Tweet Keep your phone out of sight if you’re interacting with others. If you choose to answer the phone at any point, remove yourself from the majority of the people around you and keep the conversation to a minimum.
- Volume. Always remember to lower the volume of your voice when talking on your cell phone. If you’re in a noisy environment and feel you need to raise your voice, go outside or find a quiet place to take the call. Your conversation can be distracting to others and considered disrespectful.
- Avoid the Cellular Crutch. Sometimes, when in an uncomfortable situation, we rely on our phones to avoid answering questions or engaging with others. If you walk into an unfamiliar place, a restaurant, or even when you’re just waiting on someone…If you find yourself reaching for your phone, stop. Instead, take time to engage with people face-to-face. Grabbing your phone to use as a distraction (or crutch) will keep you from connecting with the world and events going on around you.
Loud rings, annoying jingles, and message alerts can be a major distraction everyone. Be alert to your surroundings and demonstrate sensitivity to others by choosing to place your phone on vibrate in appropriate situations. Cell phone courtesy is important, and failing to recognize it can have a negative impact on how you are perceived.
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