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Cell Phone Savvy

By Kristie Popa

Whether you have a tablet or a cell phone, you most likely have the ability to text and/or call someone whether it be a voice or video call.  It is important to remember that there is etiquette for using a cell phone, especially when you are in the company of others. Take a look at these quick tips to make sure that you are savvy on cell phone etiquette.

  • When choosing a ring tone, make sure that it is a pleasant ring tone; one without inappropriate language or sounds.
  • If you are in a restaurant or other public setting, turn down your ringer or consider using the vibrate function on your phone to avoid disturbing others.
  • Remember that your voice carries and people often talk 3 times louder when they are using their cell phone. Make sure that you lower the tone of your voice to keep your conversation private.
  • Avoid having an emotional conversation in public; there is almost always someone listening or watching.
  • When you do answer a phone call in public, make sure to move at least 10 feet away from other people in order to avoid disturbing them.
  • Be aware of universal quiet zones and make sure to turn your phone on silent or turn them off when in these places. Also, if you are in a “quiet zone,” consider walking outside to take your phone call.  The following locations are considered “quiet zones”:

o Library
o Movie Theater (make sure to not light up your phone during a movie)
o Church
o Doctor’s Office
o Rest Room
o School Building

  • Avoid holding a cell phone while driving or texting while driving.
  • Avoid answering texts or taking calls when you are engaged in face to face conversation with someone.

Texting Etiquette

  • Always consider your audience when texting. Make sure that your texts are appropriate for who you are talking to.
  • Remember to communicate clearly. Your message will be interpreted by your reader.
  • Respond to text messages promptly.
  • Only use emojis or gif’s when necessary.
  • Don’t be long winded when texting someone. Read the tone of the message; if you receive a short text from someone, maybe the other person is busy and you should respond with a short message.
  • Always be patient when texting. Give the other person enough time to respond.
  • Avoid mass texting or group texts unless they are absolutely necessary.

Think about these scenarios:
Question: You and your friend decided to go get something to eat after work.  Your friend decided to drive.  It is already dark and pouring rain.  On the way, your friend’s cell phone starts ringing.  What should you do?
Answer: Your friend should ignore the cell phone ringing and allow the person to leave a message.  Otherwise, you could offer to answer your friend’s phone for them.
Question: Your best friend meets you after school in tears.  She explains that someone keeps sending her nasty text messages on her cell phone.  She says she’s too embarrassed to tell a teacher and she wants to confront the bully herself.  She asks you to go with her.  What do you do?
Answer: Your friend is being bullied.  Bullying can come in many forms including name calling, teasing, spreading rumors or lies, pushing or shoving, hitting, slapping or kicking, leaving someone out, threatening, stealing, etc.  Bullying can take place in many places such as school, on the school bus, at a park, through the internet or on a cell phone.  You should encourage your friend to notify an adult about the bullying.  This could be a counselor, teacher, parent or any other trustworthy adult.

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