With every new industry and every new technology a set of etiquette rules must inevitably follow. With the explosion of gyms and fitness centers catering to weight loss in the early 1980’s and the onslaught of personal cell phones at the turn of the century new standards of curtesy relevant to these new trends have been developed. The overarching thread with all new etiquette standards is common sense and common curtesy. If by chance you’ve forgotten either, follow these recommendations from the professionals to stay out of the hot seat and in the good graces of others when using your cell phone.
Some companies have developed cell phone policies. Others have not. As a general rule, when attending a meeting or collaborating with coworkers, your phone should not only be turned off, but out of site. If a colleague or manager has sought your advice, attention or efforts, they deserve your undivided attention. By focusing on your phone instead of those you’re with, you’re sending a clear message that the information on your phone is taking priority over them. This is not the message you want to send at work, or the reputation you want to develop.
Socially, phone use etiquette seems to be more relaxed with the younger generation that came of age using cell phones. The traditional etiquette still maintains that focusing on the person you’re with is the ultimate form of curtesy and respect. Focusing on your phone with others is akin to scanning the crowd for a more interesting conversation when speaking with another individual or group. This particularly holds true in restaurants, movie theaters and public places. Don’t assume that if those you are with are not offended by your cell phone use, those around you are not either. Not only is a stranger not interested in your private phone conversation, but it is simply rude to converse loud enough for others to hear.
Follow these cell phone etiquette rules and not only will you be welcome where ever you go, but you’ll leave a positive impression.