Cell phone courtesy not complicated

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 4, 2006

We have all been there.

You are at a nice dinner, or maybe at the movies, even at church &045; when the silence in broken by the screeching alarm of a cell phone.

And if you have my luck, the person is probably really close to you, talking obnoxiously loud about obviously nothing.

I really don&8217;t understand what is so difficult about turning a phone ringer to vibrate, or even gasp &045; silence.

If you have got it together enough to sign a contract and pay a monthly bill, you should be able to turn off your ringer.

People know how to surf the web, download music and play poker on their phones, but can&8217;t turn them off.

The lack of common respect is so widespread that July is believe it or not, Cell Phone Courtesy Month, a time to check our mechanical mannerism.

Etiquette experts (plus I added a few rants of my own) list the following as ways to be more polite.

uUse your voicemail. There is a reason it&8217;s on your phone. The people that are in the room with you should take precedence over calls you make and receive.

uIf you must take a call, excuse yourself and find a secluded area in which to talk, preferably outside the room.

uIf you are expecting an important call, alert those that you are with ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call come in.

uAlso, watch your tone. Don&8217;t display anger during a public call. Conversations that could get emotional should be held somewhere where they won&8217;t embarrass or intrude.

uFinally, use discretion when discussing private matters &8212; medical problems, trade deals, adultery, and the like should not be discussed in front of others.

If those don&8217;t work for you remember there is one last option: when in doubt, turn it off.

Thank you