CELLULAR phone etiquette

Wednesday, May 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

When is a good time to stop talking on a cell phone? The interruption of ringing phones and loud conversations has some businesses, and cell phone users, saying enough is enough.

KOTV's Emory Bryan says they've become standard equipment for the masses, on the belt and on the ear of so many people. Cell phones are a modern marvel, but some see them as a growing nuisance. "Church, you wonder who would you be calling during a sermon?" Cell phones are banned during trials in Tulsa County, because judges outlawed cell phones in courtrooms. An outright ban hasn't been declared at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, but a polite reminder to turn off the phone precedes each performance.

A Tulsa tag agency now requires people to hang up while they wait in line, otherwise they'll lose their turn. They had so many people talking at once, no one could hear well enough to do business. It may not be a trend, but it is a new backlash against one of the most popular consumer items ever created. And almost everyone has a story about a rude interruption from a cell phone. "The instructor is up front trying to give a lesson and you hear the phone ringing." " Whenever you go to church, you should turn your cell phone off." "There should be a restriction but you can put your cell phone on silent mode, in case you have an emergency."

More people are calling, meaning the ringing and talking will continue, until someone decides to put manners ahead of being constantly connected.

Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association

Here are some cell phone tips from the Emily Post Institute:
When in public (restaurant, theater, school function) turn your phone off or turn to vibrate mode
If you must take or make a call (and you're in a public place), go outside to do so
Never take or make a call while you're sitting down in a restaurant with someone (Do this and you're basically telling the person you're with that the person on the phone is more important to you than they are)
Speak in a quiet/normal conversational tone and avoid extended conversations
Turn the ringer off in meetings
Place calls from a quiet location
Don’t discuss your personal affairs and medical problems on the cell phone
Above all, be considerate of those around you

Some cell phone etiquette stats*:
Women are perceived as having better wireless manners than men
90% of people believe that we need to improve our wireless manners
59% of Americans would rather visit the dentist than sit next to someone talking on a wireless phone in a movie theatre.

* From a 1999 survey conducted by SBC Communications.