Monday, July 7, 2014

The Ten Commandments of Mobile Phone Etiquette

In a 2011 survey, 13% of people polled said that they had pretended to be talking to someone on their cell phones, to avoid talking to other people around them. Etiquipedia's guess is the actual percentage is much higher.
1. Thou shalt give your phone a rest. Smartphones, mobile phones, cell phones... Whatever you call them, they are not personal appendages. At least they are not supposed to be. They are a way of facilitating communication with others more easily. Yours does not need to be in your hand 24/7, as one needs to be sleeping at some point out of those 24 hours a day.

2. 
Thou shalt turn off your ringer in public places and not set your phone down in front of you at a restaurant table or any other place where you are meeting with others face to face. Nothing is more annoying than being mid-sentence in a conversation, and having someone's phone light up, buzz or ring. It can stop genial and productive flows of conversation, only so others can ask, "Do you need to take that?"

3. 
Thou shalt not indulge in "Cell Yell." If the person that you're talking to can't hear you, don't yell. Unless you are whispering, you probably just have a lousy connection. "Cell yell" puts others around you in cell hell, and does not help the situation anymore than it does to yell in your native tongue at people who do not speak your language.
4. Thou shalt not text or talk while holding on to your device if you are driving or operating any other machinery. There have been too many fatalities and fender-benders caused by cell phone distraction. If a call or text is that important to you, pull off the road and send your text, tweet, or make your call.

5. Thou shalt not "phub." "Phubbing" is the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention to the person or people you are with. In other words, don't talk or text when you are in the company of anyone else, unless you have an emergency of some sort, or the person with you is in on what is being said or texted. 
Smartphones shouldn't be barriers between you and your child's, or grandchild's activities. Letting them be a part of your phone's use helps reduce iGuilt.
 iGuilt- Do you suffer from this dreaded affliction? 
They call it iGuilt. It's become an increasingly common sight at Saturday morning sport as parents tap away at their phones, missing little Jimmy's goal. Some parents don't even realise what they're doing while others readily admit they devote more attention to their iPhone than to their child. The modern world is filled with technological distractions, from smartphones to laptops to iPads, which are increasingly hard to switch off. Netsafe director and father of a 4 and 8-year-old, Martin Cocker admitted smartphones sometimes interfered with his parenting. His job means he needs to always be contactable by media and colleagues and so he always has his phone on and with him. "If I get messages, I check them and if my phone rings, I answer it because it might be work-related. But the bulk of the time, of course, it's not." Mr. Cocker said smartphone technologies were deliberately designed to keep people engaged. "It's designed to get you using it and to keep you using, making it harder to pull away." They do that because they don't make money in a traditional way. You don't pay to use a lot of the services that people are constantly using on their smartphones, but the more you use it the more the companies who own the apps can sell the advertising for," he said. As well, new technologies have removed the ability to stop working when you leave the office, meaning work inevitably creeps into home life. Mother of two and iPhone user Rochelle Gribble admitted she's fallen victim to iGuilt after seeing the behaviour of 3-year-old Caitlin deteriorate when she devotes too much time to her iPhone. "I've become increasingly mindful that I need to not have my iPhone out when my kids are around," she said. "When my daughter wants my attention but I'm on my phone she does something which she knows is naughty and she's basically trying to get my attention. So it's at that moment when I know I need to put down my phone, put away the computer and engage with her." Mrs Gribble works from home and runs parenting advice website."One of the reason I work from home is so I can spend time with my kids and I want to enjoy their childhood and here I am checking my email at the park." She frequently sees parents getting distracted by their phones while pushing their children on the swings at the park. "There's lots of little fun distractions on the internet, like Facebook, and sometimes it's a heck of a lot more interesting than talking to your children, let's be honest. And it's also a lot less demanding." Professor Alan France, head of the Sociology department at the University of Auckland, said the positive impact of technology should be noted as well. Gadgets like PlayStation's Wii had the ability to draw families together to play games while children having increased access to mobile phones meant parents could worry less." ... mobiles have improved parents' connection to their children and I don't see that as a bad thing." Mr. Cocker suggested "technology-free weekends" to help improve family-time, or even just a technology-free day or afternoon. ~ Source New Zealand Herald News, 2012
6. Thou shalt not make a call or take a call of a highly personal nature in a public place. If others can hear your conversation, maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from the closest person next to you, so that they do not have to hear your half of a conversation about your sex life, or lack thereof.
The selfie seen 'round the world. Digital diplomacy or international embarrassment?
7. Thou shalt not take selfies at funerals, mortuaries or memorial services. And while we're on the subject of photos, don't take pictures or video of anyone without their permission first. That handy availability of a camera on your phone? It doesn't give you the right to photograph someone.
8. Thou shalt not use your cell phone at the theater, opera, symphony, lecture or a play, unless you need to call for emergency services.

9. Thou shalt not call or text someone in anger. Anger makes people say things they regret later on. If you are angry, wait 12 to 24 hours to cool off, then make your call or text.

10. 
If your call is dropped, call the person back out of courtesy, regardless of which phone you suspect dropped the call. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Respect should not be a one-way street.