Get Empowered: Cell Phone Etiquette

I am that girl who walks around campus in her own little world. You would never see me running around without my sunglasses, i-pod and a cup of coffee—unless you saw me this past week. The headphones to my i-pod broke and I did not have time to buy a new pair.

Walking around without my i-pod for a week really opened my eyes to my surroundings. I noticed more about my campus in the past week than in the three years that I have been here. What struck me most was the prevalence of cell phones.

You would be hard pressed to find someone that did not have a cell phone. Even my cousin in second grade has one (for “emergency purposes”). But, walking around campus without an i-pod got me thinking about how rude some people are when talking on their phones.

While we are taught table manners and other social skills, it seems that cell phone etiquette is often overlooked. Here are some things to think about before you dial.

Where you are: Obviously if you are in your own home, walking across campus or driving in a car (with a blue tooth) making a call is totally acceptable. But, some places are just not appropriate—the gym, the hospital, any waiting area, the bathroom, etc.

What are you talking about: Gossiping about your latest sexual encounter is not exactly something that the entire line in the coffee shop wants to hear about. That being said, think about the content of your conversation before you speak. You never know who is around.

How loud you are: Some conversations can’t be helped, but it’s always important to be considerate to those around you.

Who are you with: My biggest pet peeve is driving in the car with someone who talks on his or her phone the entire time. (A close second being couples who walk hand and hand and talk on their cell phones the entire time) Unless it’s necessary, don’t take any calls when you’re in a group of people, or at least remove yourself.

Are you intoxicated: Drunk dialing, which is worthy of its own column, is simply a bad idea.

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