International etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore founded Cell Phone Courtesy Month in 2002 as a way to get people to become aware of their cell phone use and respectful of their surroundings.
Do you practice the following tips?
- Be private. Don’t discuss private or confidential information in public.
- Put it on vibrate. When at places such as religious services, meetings, restaurants, theaters or sporting events, put your phone on silent or vibrate so that it doesn’t cause a disruption.
- Don’t yell. When you’re on the phone, talk at a normal volume.
- Follow the rules. Pay attention to posted signs and instructions that restrict phone use, such as hospitals or airplanes.
- Excuse yourself. If you are expecting a call, let the people you’re with know it. When the call comes, excuse yourself politely.
- Watch and listen discreetly. If you’re planning to stream video or listen to music on your cellphone, make sure you adjust the volume accordingly or wear earphones.
- Help out others. Use your cellphone to help others in times of emergency.
- Don’t combine driving. Use a hands-free device if driving and don’t answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Don’t text and drive and always make safety the highest priority.
I never touch my phone while driving after seeing the movie Seven Pounds—a story of a man who carelessly sends a text message while driving and veers across the center line into oncoming traffic and causes a multi-car crash in which six strangers and his fiancée die.