Everywhere you look you see someone using a cell phone. Whether it is a “snap chatting” millennial or an older adult searching Google for information, our attachment to the cell phone is evident.
Cell phones are now a major means of communication, and in the last six years, the demographics have skyrocketed. Moreover, cell phones are being introduced to children even earlier, the average age being between 10-12 years.
Whether for entertainment or emergency situations, cell phones play an important role in our daily lives. Nearly half of the millennial population owns a smart phone. Are they really making us smarter? Quite possibly, they are making us less thoughtful and diminishing the respect and common courtesy with which we treat one another.
Where have our manners gone when it comes to cell phone usage? There are times when using a cell phone is rude, inappropriate, and even harmful. We have become so accustomed to using the cell phone to communicate; we don’t even realize when we are offending those around us. It may seem like common sense, but looking at your phone rather than engaging in face-to-face interactions can make the person or persons you are with feel like they are not as important as your phone.
In order to combat the denigration of our social graces, some rules come into play for proper cell phone etiquette. Here are a few tips
- Lower your voice when talking in a public place.
- Allow for a distance of 10 feet from the nearest person when talking on your phone. • Ask to be excused from a face-to-face conversation, if you must take an urgent call.
- Put your ringer on silent when in a public space.
- Do not discuss personal matters within earshot of an innocent bystander.
- Don’t use your phone in a theater or at a formal ceremony for talking or texting.
- Most important of all, do not talk or text on the cell phone while driving. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
Other harmful effects of cell phone ownership include increased anxiety and stress. Many individuals unconsciously and compulsively check their cell phones dozens of times throughout the day. People are becoming so attached to these electronic devices, they find it nearly impossible to disconnect and relax.
July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, so be mindful of the people around when using your cell phone. Why not put the phone away while visiting with friends and loved ones.
Enjoy time away from all electronic devices; disconnect, watch a sunset, or revel in the beauty of your natural surroundings.