Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cell Phone Etiquette - #HelloBetter

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July is National Cellphone Courtesy month and U.S. Cellular is celebrating by promoting positive cell phone etiquette. Although the month is almost over, it's proper and courteous to display decorum when it comes to cell phones.

Technology can enable better moments through simplifying and enhancing your life. For instance, the reliability of U.S. Cellular's 4G LTE network can both simplify and enhance. But, whether you use an Apple iPhone 5s or a Samsung Galaxy S5, proper cellphone etiquette can make life easier both for the person who owns the phone and the people around them.

A Pew Research survey found that 67 percent of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls – even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. That means a lot of people are checking devices at any given time or place.

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 37 percent of users say others get upset with them for phone use, while 63 percent say they get upset at others for phone use.[Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.]

As may be expected, smartphone owners who are over the age of 54 have stronger etiquette beliefs than younger users. Among adults 55-64, 82 percent think it is rude to check your phone while talking with someone else, and 80 percent think it is rude to check while dining.

63 percent of users 18-34 think it is rude to be on your phone while talking to someone else, while 57 percent think it is rude to check while dining.

Women are more likely to prefer texting over men. They are also more likely to have checked or used their phone to avoid conversations.

63 percent of people believe that no one gets upset at them for their phone use. This is the same proportion that sometimes gets upset with others for using their phone or tablet.

Here are some tips for improving courtesy with cellphone usage:

Set the ground rules. If you have plans to meet a relative for dinner or spend happy hour with a group of friends, discuss expectations for phone use. By determining technology use before the gathering, everyone is able to enjoy the occasion.

Seek to understand. Focus on similarities instead of differences and set a goal to understand those around you. By understanding other’s wireless device use, you’ll be more courteous of their expectations.

Don’t be a buzz kill. Putting a phone on vibrate during a meeting or event can be a good idea, as vibration mode is meant to alert only you. However, it can distract others if the phone is placed on a table in a meeting or meal. Put the phone in a pocket, where it can alert you to a call but isn’t disturbing others. If you forget to turn off the ringer and get an unexpected call, phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 stop ringing by simply flipping over the device.

Avoid being blinded by the light. Adjust screen brightness prior to entering a dimly lit space, such as a restaurant, recital or school play. This allows you to use the device to take photos or use social media without disturbing those around you.

Since July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month it is the perfect time to talk about the expectations and practices of wireless device users of all ages. I encourage you to view the Parent / Child Agreement and go over it with your child to open conversation and set guidelines.

Do you try to practice cell phone etiquette? What are some cell phone pet peeves you have?


alissa apel said...

My sister came to pick me up to have dinner. It was her birthday gift to me. The whole way to the place we were eating she was on her phone. Then she was on her phone for 15 min. when we got there in the car. Then she was on her phone for 5 minutes outside the place. I was annoyed. I didn't show it because she was paying for my meal.

Becca said...

I hate when I am driving at night and someone gets on their phone in my front seat without dimming the screen. I feel like they are trying to blind me! I try to be polite with my phone, but I'm sure I don't achieve it 100% of the time hehe