“Psssst! Put that thing away!”, said the wife, as she glared at her husband across the table.
“We’re out in public and having some quality family time!”
Just then, her BlackBerry notifications started going off incessantly. The husband gave her a look. “Are you going to answer that?”
This photo is the reason I am so aware of cell phone etiquette now. I was so embarrassed when I saw this photo posted on Facebook last week and it made me think long and hard about the message I am sending my young daughter.
While out running errands, we stopped at the mall for a quick bite to eat and a Facebook alert popped up. I checked it out and was in shock. The above photo was posted and at first it scared me. I looked around the busy food court thinking how creepy it was that someone had spotted us, snapped a photo of us, and then posted it on FB. Across the crowded food court, I saw a friend smiling and waving. He said that Hubby and I were so engrossed in what we were doing on our phones that we didn’t even notice him walk by!
Yes, Little One was with us. You can’t see her in the photo, but she was quietly eating her lunch while Mom and Dad were preoccupied with what they were doing. I know. So sad.
July is officially Cell Phone Courtesy Month
Back in 2000 when I first began my relationship with TELUS (Ha! The longest relationship I’ve ever had thus far!), I didn’t understand why my friends were visibly annoyed at me having my cell phone in hand all the time. Back then, I was attached to my phone because of a boy. You remember what it was like when you had a crush on someone and awaited their calls and text messages? Fast forward 13 years and things are a little different. My husband is my main contact on BBM. We BBM every day. For a farming family, BBM is the most amazing invention ever. My husband is a farmer and when he has a tractor breakdown way out in the bush or needs me to run into town to pick up parts or whatnot, BBM is the best way of communicating. If my vehicle breaks down or I’m running late coming home to prepare supper, I BBM Hubby. If I need him to pick up Little One from camp because I’m busy working, we BBM.
Perhaps that’s just me trying to justify the amount of time I’m in my device, but I really do depend on my phone for everything. I try to be courteous when with friends and family. If a call comes in, I excuse myself and leave the room if I have to take the call. Otherwise, I let my calls go to voicemail. Most of the time, however, I do need to reply to messages, texts, tweets, BBMs because it’s work-related. My work is in Social Media and Digital Marketing. Most people who know me understand that this is a part of my life and how I earn a living…and they’re okay with it. Those who aren’t familiar with Social Media or do not own a cell phone and don’t use this kind of technology as part of their work or every day life are mostly the ones who have casually mentioned my use of my cell phone. This said, I have been making a conscious effort to put my phone away when in the company of others when I’m off the clock.
Though I am well aware of my relationship with my cell phone, there are certain things I adhere to when it comes to cell phone etiquette.
#KeepItInYourPants for Cell Phone Courtesy Month
Nothing is more irritating than trying to enjoy a meal with friends and loved ones and their cell phone goes off…and they answer it while you’re all engaging in conversation together.
Being at the movies, a concert, or a show and someone’s phone ringing ruins the experience.
These are but a few “cell phone crimes” people commit, but the funniest (and probably one of the most dangerous) is walking and texting. Have you ever seen someone walk into a pole while texting and walking? Oh, and friends don’t let friends text and drive. Keep your phone in your pants. For your safety and for the safety of others! Plus, the latter is illegal anyway! The use of handheld devices while driving is illegal in Ontario.
TELUS, though the purveyors of our beloved handheld devices and enablers of constant connectivity, are aware of the distraction of devices. They are doing the responsible thing and encouraging TELUS customers and friends to practice good manners and are inviting everyone to share their cell phone etiquette fails on their #KeepItInYourPants tumblr page.
Here are some helpful cell phone etiquette tips from our friends at TELUS:
1. Don’t whip it out while the barista whips your latte – baristas are people too, so let your girlfriend, boyfriend or best friend off the hook while you pay for your coffee, then call them back.
2. Don’t start a fuss, respect the people on the bus – the entire bus, subway or streetcar does not need to know about your Friday night escapades at 8:30 on Monday morning. Remember there are other people around you, so wait until you have a minute to yourself!
3. It’s weird to do your business while you’re doing your business (in a public bathroom) – this one goes without saying, but no one really wants to be on the receiving end of THAT conversation!
For more tips, follow @TELUS and the #KeepItInYourPants hashtag on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation on tumblr!
The good people at TELUS say, please remember to #KeepItInYourPants this July. The world will thank you.