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You Are Here: Home - Newsletters - "Organized For A Living" - Article

Cell Phone Etiquette

In today's world of MOBILE communications, we often forget that we're now carrying on our conversations in the middle of a public crowd, rather than in an office behind a closed door. So it's more important than ever that you are CAREFUL about your cell phone usage and adhere to certain common courtesies if you don’t want to be a cell phone pest.

The number one complaint against rude cell phone users is that ‘they are so loud.’ There was a time when a phone conversation was a PRIVATE thing, but cell phones have made our private conversations public. If you find yourself in any public arena, find a quiet or private corner to carry on your cell phone conversation. Also, turn down that RINGER. Some people turn it up so loud that they can hear the phone ringing from another state. If you are so far out of range that you cannot hear your cell phone ring on medium, or lower, take it with you and you won’t miss your call.

The only thing that scares people more than too much attention is being ignored. And there is no quicker way to let someone know they aren't WORTH your time than to interrupt your interaction with them to take a lengthy phone call. If you are having dinner, a light lunch or even chatting with friends at home, resist the urge to ANSWER every call. If it’s not an emergency call, you can return it at the end of the meal. Pay attention to your guest, or the clerk helping your find your books, or your friends. Leave your cell phone out of the equation. Your guest will be amazed at your politeness and probably return the favor.

In our 24/7, on the go society, many people seem to forget that we still have voice mail. There are rumors of an ancient ritual where you allow the voice mail to pick up when you’re busy and then RETURN the call later. If you think long and hard, you might recall it. And you might remember the VALUE of dealing with all of your messages at once, instead of letting individual phone calls eat up your entire day. It's actually a pretty good time management tool.

Sure, you’re paying for your flip phone with text messaging and 1000 minutes. Wait a minute, you’re on company time. Unless you are self-employed, your company will expect and demand your full ATTENTION at work. They will frown upon hour long conversations replaying your date, your incredible weekend or that juicy piece of gossip for all your friends. Save PERSONAL calls for personal time

Anytime you bring your cell phone into a public arena, remember to be RESPECTFUL and courteous. Pretty soon, you’ll find that the people around will do the same.


Syd Johnson is the founder of Rapid Lingo -- you may visit his website at

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