Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts - Cellphone Etiquette

When I was growing up and then went on to raise my own children we had rules for phone use. The one I remember most prominently and taught my children was that you don't call people before 9 AM or after 9PM. We also had certain rules for answering the phone such as saying something like, "Belcourt residence, Sheryl speaking". With the advent of the cell phone there's a needed change to the way we use phones or when. We've all been annoyed by someone say in a mall or restaurant who thinks that everyone wants to hear their cell phone conversation. Especially when it goes on and on over nothing so you feel like turning around with a plate of food and dumping it over their head. Or better yet, answer their questions for
What about when we are visiting friends or family though? Is it polite to answer the phone, or call someone back when we are visiting other people? For instance, last night as I was sitting and chatting with my in-laws someone came to visit. Mom and Dad were happy, even though it was almost their bed time, but 3 minutes into the visit this person got a phone call. They called the number back and sat there for 10 minutes chatting with some one not in the room with us. Mom and Dad sat there with their heads hung down, looking a bit dejected and rightly so. Mom finally got up and went to take her medicine and start getting ready for bed. When the visitor got off the phone they said, "This gal just likes to call and let me know how her day is going." Really? I was a bit flabbergasted at the idea that they knew that it wasn't a critical call, but felt the need to call them back right away, knowing the conversation was going to be long. So we got a total of 7 minutes with this person and the caller got more time. Sure there are going to be times when you just have to answer the phone regardless of where you are. Some people don't seem to know where the line is though. My husband told me that he was interviewing someone once, and they kept glancing at their phone to see the text messages coming in. I guess you know that they didn't get the job.
We think that there's a time and a place to answer a call, and also to have the phone on or off. Church meetings are not a place where everyone should have their phones set the ringtone, neither is any meeting. Visiting friends and family is another one, unless you are staying over. Even then, limiting all but the most critical calls is just being polite and courteous. What are your rules for the cell phone? When do you feel phones should be set to vibrate or shut off?

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