July is Cell Phone Etiquette Month

Ten cellphone etiquette breaches

There are now more wireless devices in the world than humans. People, in all walks of life, have strong opinions when it comes to appropriate cellphone use.

Cellphone etiquette has become critical to observe in both casual and professional settings. In honor of July’s National Cellphone Courtesy Month, a recent U.S. Cellular survey identified the top 10 etiquette breaches and offers simple solutions to help overcome them.

It’s Not Me, It’s You: About two-thirds of phone owners believe that nobody gets upset at them for their phone use – similar to the proportion (66 percent) that gets upset at others, at least sometimes. It’s easy to overlook your own etiquette breaches and focus on others, but remember that you may be doing the same thing.

Look Away: According to the U.S. Cellular survey, 70 percent of smartphone users think that it is rude to look at a phone while you have a face-to-face conversation, while 66 percent think it’s rude while dining with others. Instead, if you have to use your phone, politely excuse yourself and try to be quick, so you can get back to your current company.

Collision Course: Texting and using a phone while walking can cause mishaps if you are not watching where you step, as 36 percent of smartphone users had someone walk into them while they looked at their phone. In addition, 28 percent of people admitted to strolling into someone or something themselves.

Attention to Detail: Some smartphone owners get annoyed when people don’t respond to them in the same way they communicated first. The survey found that 31 percent will get frustrated if you call in response to a text.

Too Much Time on My Hands: How long does it take to get back to someone? Smartphone owners said they get somewhat or extremely annoyed if it takes more than a day to respond to voicemail (62 percent) or in excess of one hour to respond to a text (58 percent).

In the Know: Although people love to run with the pack, almost half (47 percent) are annoyed by group text messages. A solution could be to limit group texts to the people who really need to be involved.

Listen Up: Before the dawn of Caller ID, it was impossible to avoid conversations without picking up the phone. Now, 42 percent of survey respondents admit to checking who is calling in an effort to avoid conversations. If someone is trying to contact you, sometimes a quick conversation is easier than exchanging voicemails and texts

On a Date: Acceptable behavior includes an arrival text at a date location and using a text to work out key details of a date. Texting while on a date is a deal breaker (only 25 percent of people find this acceptable) and could turn the other person off.

Textiquette: Although there is variance where it comes to age, more than half (64 percent) of those surveyed agree that a text message should be responded to within minutes, while 25 percent said within seconds. The exception is while you are at work, where 42 percent think that is inappropriate to text at all.

Hold the Butter: There are two public places that top the list where survey goers report they see the worst cellphone behavior – restaurants and movie theatres. It may be a good idea to be extra mindful of your cellphone use while in these venues.

U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience.

About Dr. Robert Stevenson

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