Cellphone Manners

Many people seem to take that sound as call to turn from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde, in terms of manners. So let’s go through a few basics of polite cell phone use.

Adam Lowe
3-minute read
Episode #32

If you are in a store, use some judgment about phone calls. It is generally better to step outside if you are going to be on the phone for more than a few seconds, and certainly don’t answer the phone if you are going to hold up the line or interrupt customer service for others.

If you are at the gym, then leave your phone in a locker, or move to a waiting area if you must take a call, and always keep your phone off if you are in a theater, museum, or lecture hall.

On public transportation, use your judgment. It is not likely that your fellow passengers are interested in listening to your conversation, so keep your voice low and chat only if you can do so without disturbing anyone around you. If you cannot find a secluded set of seats to speak quietly, then it is better to call back later when you have a little more privacy.

Being a businessperson does not give you license to be ill-mannered, whether you are around other CEOs or the server at a local coffee shop. And business situations (such as meetings) do not warrant an approach to phone conversations that is any different from dining in a restaurant.

Bluetooth headsets, although very convenient, are not fashion accessories. If you were having a conversation with someone in person, it is not likely that you would wear a set of headphones, so please take off your headset..

In general, unless it is an urgent situation, treat your cell phone as a useful tool rather than an appendage.

Thank you for listening to quick and dirty tips for a more polite life.

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