According to a Lemelson –MIT invention Index study, 30% of us have a love- hate relationship going on with our cells and smartphones. As far as the stats for invention relationships of ‘hate it but can’t live without it’ goes, cells beat alarm clocks at 25%, and TV at 23%.
Guest writer and etiquette expert Elizabeth Backman talks us through the worst cell phone habits. Are you guilty?
In Canada, there are over 26 million users and 327 million users in the US. With these kinds of statistics, there is bound to be disgruntled and annoyed people. According to Spin Vox 10 – Point Guide to Polite Cell Phone Practices, here are some of the most annoying cell phone practices:
(1) Yellers: People who talk at a volume loud enough for everyone to hear. According to a study by the Pew Internet and America Life Project, 82% of Americans report being irritated at least occasionally by loud and annoying mobile phone users who conduct their calls in public places.” Your conversation is really not interesting to others, even if you are name-dropping. Polite Barometer: Try to find a more appropriate place to continue your conversation.
(2) Blasters: People who blare their musical preference through their ringtones. Polite Barometer: Consider your environment and adjust our volume accordingly. If in business, try to use an appropriate ringtone, not memories from your last calypso vacation.
(3) Chow Chatters: People who use their phone at the restaurant table. Polite Barometer: If you need to take or make a call, consider leaving the table and finding a more suitable area to continue your conversation. If you are the lucky person at the next table, either quietly ask to be moved or speak politely to the waiter or Maitre d’ about the problem.
(4) Hard-of-Hearing: This is for those special people who turn their cell to speakerphone at a volume that everyone can hear in public. Polite Barometer: Be courteous to those around you and use speakerphone only at home or in your own office.
(5) Text Maniacs: People constantly texting, especially during conversations and meetings. How urgent is it? Polite Barometer: If it is so urgent, excuse yourself and reply. There is nothing more disrespectful than trading the attention of a friend or collogue to a piece of equipment.
(6) Checkout Blockers: People who talk on phones at the checkout counter. They should be paying and gathering their purchase to leave. Everyone is there for the same reason; pay and leave as quickly as possible. Polite Barometer: Either hang up when it’s your turn or let others go ahead of you.
(7) Ring Cyclist: People who let their phones ring and ring instead of answering or silencing them. Polite Barometer: Keep you phone handy to deal with it. Not at the bottom of a large handbag.
(8) Audio Samplers: People who publicly sample all their ringtones offered to them. Polite Barometer: Pick your ringtone in private.
(9) Walk ‘n Scroll: People who text, email or hunt for contacts while walking. This brings multi-tasking to a new level. So can bumping into something or someone. Polite Barometer: Try stepping aside.
(10) Can Conversationalist: People talking in the public bathroom stalls. Is the call that important? Ever feel at first that they were talking to you? Polite Barometer: This is where multi-tasking is not appropriate. Ugh!
(11) What about Chatting Drivers, as it is illegal in all provinces, we all know it is still being done. Polite Barometer: All I can say is please respect those in your car and everyone else on the road. This is not a matter of politeness, manners or etiquette, it is all about safety.
Do you need to adjust your Polite Barometer?
Facilitator: Elizabeth Backman A Victoria resident and native of Montreal established her company, Pro-Etiquette two years ago to teach the ways of etiquette and civility in business, academic and social settings. Elizabeth has motivated and taught valuable business lessons within companies’ operations, sales departments and with managers and executive, always stressing the importance of respect and communication. She believes in the importance of teaching children, tweens and teens along with young adults transitioning into university and then onwards to the business world. Elizabeth’s versatility enables her to conduct in-house training, retreats, professional development days and speaking engagements. For more information please visit www.elizabethbackman.com