Cell phone etiquette

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By Halley Harrell

Imagine sitting at an outdoor wedding ceremony. The bride and her father stand with arms linked at the altar.

Just as the preacher begins his speech on the importance of love and marriage, the bride reaches down into the front of her wedding dress and discreetly pulls out a cell phone.

There she stands in the middle of her own wedding ceremony, texting. Though the bride’s back was to the guests, the videographer captured the action on film. Now, she and her husband can relive that joyous moment on YouTube till death does them part.

There are times when whipping out a cell phone is inappropriate. A bride at her own wedding definitely takes the cake. Perhaps her blunder can teach others a thing or two.

With the increase of cell phones, data plans and unlimited messaging, letting technology dominate everyday life can be easy. It is time that people learned to exercise proper mobile manners.

One of the biggest problems with texting is that it takes a person’s attention away from his or her surroundings. This has proved to be a growing issue, especially on roads throughout America.

The Government Highway Safety Association lists 35 states that have banned the use of cell phones in school zones and even in entire cities to reduce the number of distracted drivers.

Oprah Winfrey has taken up the call against texting while driving. She began the No Phone Zone Pledge, which invites drivers to commit to putting their phones down and paying attention to the road.

The theory behind these policies is that implementing phone restrictions behind the wheel will reduce the number of car accidents. But should it be the government’s responsibility to keep drivers in check?

If citizens expect to obtain a license, they should earn that right by keeping their eyes on the road and respecting the dozens of other drivers around them.

As people become aware of the dangers of distraction behind the wheel, they learn to exercise better cell phone habits. But phone etiquette is not limited to the car. When it comes to mobile manners, phone users should be considerate of their surroundings no matter where they are.

In many situations, people think they’re conversing with a friend, only to look over and see her completely enthralled in texting someone else. It is hurtful to realize that friends are not really listening.

By focusing on someone who is not even in the room, people portray the person standing right in front of them as an inconvenience.

Texting has its purposes. It simplifies communication when a phone call would be inconvenient. But people with cell phones should learn to discern appropriate texting behavior, especially around others.

Two people cannot have a meaningful conversation if one of them is constantly interrupted by text messages.

Etiquette experts suggest putting down the phone during social interactions such as conversations, meetings and meals. Sadly, it is typical to go to a restaurant and see two people sitting across from each other in silence, captivated by their cell phones.

Though texting culprits claim to magically multitask, their attention will always be divided.

If people become aware that texting distractedly in the presence of others is inconsiderate, they might make an effort to change their habits. Some people put their phone face down on the table when talking to other people.

This simple act makes a huge impression on people who realize how much they appreciate having someone who truly listens and participates in the conversation wholeheartedly.

If more people started putting their phones down and were attentive to those around them, conversations would thrive.

Brides would not ruin their own wedding ceremonies. Car accidents would decrease.

As people learn to be considerate and utilize mobile devices appropriately, they will help influence proper phone etiquette in today’s society.

 

Author: The Bells Staff

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