image-cellphone-etiquetteYou may have heard about how last week in NYC, Tony winner Patti Lupone snatched a phone from the hands of a woman who could not stop texting (and thus disturbed the actor) during Patti’s performance in a play at Lincoln Center.  With cellphones being part of our lives for about 20 years now, it seems many of us, including that theater-goer, can sometimes be rude to others when using their mobile phone.

That is why just after the turn of the millennium, Jacqueline Whitmore, an expert on etiquette and protocol, created National Cell Phone Courtesy Month in July.  Who knew?   Well with us just hitting the midpoint of July, we thought it might make sense to highlight some of Jacqueline’s tips to help us all to avoid offending others while using these devices

BE ALL THERE — You miss a lot of life if you are always using your phone; in a meeting, at a performance, during a meal.  Turn it off and live a little.

KEEP IT PRIVATE — Sometimes nosy people around you pick up a lot of information from listening.  Maybe you do not want them knowing your business; so avoid confidential topics when in public.

KEEP YOUR COOL — Take the emotion out of it!  Yell at your spouse for not taking out the garbage in the privacy of your own home.

VIBE IT — Your phone came with a mute and vibration setting for a reason.  Use it if you must keep your phone powered on, during public activities or gatherings.

AVOID CELL YELL — Land line phones send your voice back into the receiver so you hear yourself when talking, which causes you to speak in a normal tone.  Not so with cellular phones.  Be aware of that and DON’T YELL!   😉

FOLLOW THE RULES — Be respectful and turn your phone off in areas and places where their use is restricted.

EXCUSE YOURSELF — If you are expecting an important call during a meeting, alert your companions and excuse yourself when the call arrives.

TEXT — Amazingly, texting can often communicate your message without you uttering a single word!

DISCRETION — With video and audio now so interlined with the social media platforms on these devices, be cognizant that others around you might not want to hear that ringtone, song or other audio.  Pick up some earphones!

HELP OTHERS — When necessary, use the 911 feature on the device to help others in need.

FOCUS ON DRIVING — Unless your car is stopped for a significant period of time, the only safe thing to do in a car, when you are driving, is to have the phone off or rely entirely on the hands free features available to you.

SPREAD THE WORD — Discuss these tips with others and maybe even share this post!  Knowledge is power!