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Cellular Phone Etiquette

Sharon Housley -- Our daily technology provides us instant access to anyone and everyone, 24/7. But, just because you can be available at all times doesn't mean you should. Here are some simple cell phone guidelines.

Today's society is all about being connected 24/7. Cell phones now provide instant access to anyone and everyone, from corporate executives to housewives and children alike. While cellular connectivity is a comfort to some, it can be rude and disruptive to others. You may wish to be available at all times, but there are some times when it is simply not appropriate to use your cell phone.

Also, cell phones should not be treated as status symbols, and should not be paraded out simply to impress others. Regardless of how new and impressive your cell phone may be, dragging it out in a public setting is seldom going to win you any fans.

Follow these simple cell phone guidelines to strike a balance between accessibility and consideration for others...

Movie Theaters

When you are in a movie theater, respect others around you who are there to actually watch the movie and are trying to listen. Turn your phone off completely, or at least switch it to vibrate only so as to not disturb the other movie-going patrons.


When you are dining out in a restaurant, those you are with deserve the courtesy of your attention. It is rude to your guests or companions to speak to or text others while you are dining.


When you have a professional appointment, whether it be an appointment with your hair dresser, doctor, etc., it is time to give the phone a break.

Hospitals Hospitals often restrict the use of cell phones in specific areas, because the cell signal could possibly interfere with electrical equipment used to maintain life support or monitor the health of patients. Be respectful and courteous of hospital rules that dictate the use of cell phones.

Live Performances

When attending live performances, whether a play, a speech, or a musical presentation, have the courtesy to turn your phone off.

Religious Ceremonies

Whether at a church wedding or a funeral, the cell phone should be muted. Regardless of your religious affiliation, when you find yourself in any house of worship, you should always keep the phone turned off. If an absolute emergency occurs, and you find yourself needing to use your cell phone in an inappropriate area, make an excuse to leave and seek out a private area to have your conversation. Keep your voice quiet, as there is no need to share your conversation with others.

If you must take a phone call in a public setting, be as brief as possible, as that is not the proper time or place for idle chit-chat.

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll, software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds, and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage, Inc.text messaging software.

© 2009 Sharon Housley

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