Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cell phone etiquette

Last week, while I was driving, I was looking through my email on my blackberry. Yes, I realize, that is a very bad thing to say. But I do admit, I read my email while driving. It's a bad habit that I'm trying to break. So ironically, I got this email from HP, kind of an email newsletter type thing, and the headline story happened to be "The 4 Pillars of Mobile Device Etiquette." This caught my attention, so I started reading.

I try to have good cell phone etiquette, but I'll also admit that since I've gotten my blackberry I have a hard time putting that thing down. One of my girlfriends said that she and her husband had to start a "no cell phone time" at home because they found they were just sitting on their couch emailing on their blackberry instead of actually talking to each other.

My biggest challenge as a blackberry user is that while I find people who are constantly texting out of boredom annoying, I also feel like if it's "business", then I have to write back right away. So that's a constant challenge. Even if I get a business email at midnight, and I'm awake still, I feel like I have to write back immediately.

Anyway, I found the article very interesting and wanted to share the HP Pillars of Mobile Device Etiquette with everyone....

HP Rule #1. Keep personal conversations restricted to private areas.
I'm pretty good at this. For example if I'm in an airport and need to make a phone call, I try to step away from everyone and get in like a private area so I can talk and no one can overhear me.

HP Rule #2: Never interrupt a presentation or lecture.
This one is a no-brainer. However I was at the Brahman association annual meeting earlier in the year when someone's cell phone rang and they proceeded to take the call, right during the meeting. This was the first time I've seen this happen and I thought it was kind of weird. I also have this phobia about something like this happening during church....specifically like during a prayer or communion. I never even bring my cell phone into church, but ever so often I'll have a panic moment during Sunday morning and quickly look in my purse to make sure I left my cell phone in the car.

HP Rule #3: Control the volume of your voice.
Isn't that super annoying when you're next to someone who's shouting on the cell phone! This is my biggest pet peeve of all. I hate it! And this gets even worse when the loud talking person is saying stuff like "are you there?" "Can you hear me?"
And finally, the HP Rule #4: Don't check your phone in dark presentation rooms.
I also find this very distracting. Say you're in a room where someone is giving a presentation, and the person 2 seats over from you starts checking his phone. Of course, his screen is going to light up. If you're like me and tend to get distracted easily, then what you probably do is immediately start looking at the bright light screen and stop paying attention to the speaker.

If you liked these little rules, or maybe found that you needed a refresher on cell phone etiquette, read the full article here, from the HP Small Business Center.


  1. Thanks for sharing Rachel! I am also weaning myself away from it. I get bored driving distances though - it's a terrible excuse I realize. I need to practice locking it in my trunk ;)