Are You Following the Rules of Mobile Etiquette?

April 19, 2013

There are some actions people should not take. And if they do, their actions should be corrected. For instance, a person could not know that typing on their cell phone in the movie theater could be a distraction to other moviegoers.

 

Below is a list of tips for different situations. They can be applied on the job, with friends, and even on vacation.

 

1.    Content – Keep Business Private

 

Many personal and business conversations contain information that should remain confidential or private. I am sure you have seen that person on the cell phone who is talking about how Becky from college did this or that. Maybe you looked at them like they were crazy or maybe you just ignored them. Before using a mobile phone in a public location to discuss private business or issues, the cell savvy user makes sure that there will be enough distance to keep the content private. Some stories, some issues and some conflicts should be saved for times and locations that will allow for confidentiality. This lack of discrimination can have dangerous consequences as business deals, relationships and future plans may all be endangered by leaks and loose tongues.

 

2.    Do not tag people in photos without their prior approval.

 

Yes, you want to show the world on Facebook that you are having fun and having a mobile device with the ability to upload photos to the site allow you to do just that. Others may not want to show the world that they are on vacation. Just because Facebook’s privacy settings do not allow for people to easily decide what they want to share does not mean that you should also take that decision away from them. Make sure those around you are aware that you’re posting updates, tweets and photos to the web.

 

3.    Think about what your ringtone choice and its volume says about you.

 

If you’re embarrassed by your ringtone in certain situations such as on trains, in the office, or when you’re visiting your mother, it is probably the wrong choice. Try again. And try not to make it too loud. Monitor the volume of your ringtone; if it blares out and heads turn it’s too loud. You can also consider not using one at all. If you cannot live with your ringtone in any situation, you do not have to use one. Using the vibrate option can suffice and it will be less distracting.

 

4.    Be considerate of others with speaking.

 

Don’t use your phone in ‘quiet zones’ on trains. Even if you’re not in a designated zone, be aware that your voice will distract newspaper-reading customers in the coffee shop, or shoppers in the mall. If the line is bad and conversations inaudible, explain that there’s a problem and hang up. Your mobile phone is not a megaphone, so try not to be too loud. If you lose reception, it is okay. Life goes on. Refrain from shouting into a dead device. You can always call the person back as soon as you regain service, even if it’s only to say goodbye. That way, they know you did not just hang up with them.

 

5.    When engaging with people in real life, drop the device.

 

People in the flesh deserve more attention than a gadget, so wherever possible turn off your phone in social situations. Don’t put your phone on the dining table, or glance at it longingly mid-conversation. It can be considered rude and may result in your friend, business partner, or date to be turned off. Also, don’t carry on mobile phone calls while transacting other business – in banks, shops, on buses and so on. It is insulting not to give people who are serving you your full attention. Switch off your phone, or turn it on to vibrate, when you are going into meetings, theatres, cinemas and so on.

 

6.    Bluetooth headsets are fine in the car (in fact they’re safe and legal).

 

As you should be aware, texting and driving are against the law. And they have been the reason for many accidents and deaths on the road. There is a growing body of evidence that cell phones may distract drivers and cause risks for themselves and other drivers. If you have to talk to someone while driving, give them a call or have them call you. Use the speakerphone or Bluetooth to talk. When talking, you can keep your eyes on the road, which results in decreases the risk of an accident and increases your safety and that of drivers around you. If the call is very important and causes a need to use hands, or may be distracting, pull over to the side of the road.

 

These are just a few tips for mobile users all over the world. We’ll have more for you in the future. Use your mobile device responsibly.

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