I was at a play in February, when one of the actors went off-script. Seeing an audience member checking her cell phone, the actor started chastising her, improvising a speech that culminated in the cell phone being snatched away and the rest of the audience clapping wildly. Clearly, the actor had touched a nerve. We’ve all rolled our eyes at people talking loudly on their phones on public transit, bumping into people while they try to text and walk at the same time, or forgetting to silence their phones in a movie. Cell phones – and especially smartphones – are still pretty new technology. It’s no surprise, then, that so many of us need a cell phone etiquette lesson.
Survey Says …
A recent Google Consumer Survey commissioned by TELUS found that the more money you make, the more likely you are to use your smartphone around coworkers or business associates. The same survey also found that when someone else is using their smartphone, almost 40% of us will check ours, too. But how is this affecting us? Apparently, when interviewing job candidates employers are less likely to hire someone who checks their smartphone. And in a number of other social situations, we also look down on those with poor cell phone etiquette.
What are some other highlights of the survey? 34.4% of respondents found ‘talking loud’ to be the worst breach of cell phone etiquette, and ‘constantly checking’ came in second at 31.0%. In contrast, only 7% of people said they don’t find any cell phone use to be annoying. And 82.6% of folks said that when they’re with family and friends at least one person ‘always’ or ‘almost always’ checks their phone. So what do we do with this?
Practice Good Cell Phone Etiquette for July
TELUS says that they feel somewhat responsible, as cell phone providers. They want to help remind us of the importance of good cell phone etiquette. This is Cellphone Courtesy Month, so they’re spreading awareness in hopes that they can inspire Canadians to keep it in their pants for a better world, and maybe even a new job! Come clean and share your cell phone etiquette confessions on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #KeepitinYourPants and at KeepitinYourPants.ca. Just, you know, not when you’re at a play or in a job interview.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.