Mind your manners!
A few pointers on mobile etiquette
We all love to use our mobiles anywhere, anytime. Mobile phones now ring at weddings and funerals, job interviews and meetings. No event, not even an emotionally charged film, is immune. While we all feel, (any often rightly so) that we just HAVE to take that call, most situations don’t demand such urgency. And now with smartphones, we are constantly checking Whatsapp messages, Facebook and email.
We need to keep in mind that there are certain rules to follow – for your own safety and so you don’t offend or annoy people around you!
Never use your mobile phone while driving unless it is ‘hands free’. Limit conversations in cars to traffic areas and conditions requiring low amounts of decision-making. In high volume, tricky driving situations turn it off or let it ring. Remember, you are not just endangering your life but the lives of innocent people around you. Please don’t walk on the road and check your phone for mail and messages. You could get run over or could bump into someone and injure them or yourself.
In public areas or during a meeting, speak into your phone in hushed tones. No one wants to know about your domestic problems or hear you mouth off your colleague. Also, set the ring tone at a low level with a tune that is muted and moderate, not one of those stridently annoying tones that have everyone giving you murderous glances! The more crowded the location, the quieter and softer the volume of voice and ring. Switch your phone onto vibrator mode in places of worship, meetings and at the cinema, where a ringing sound would disturb others. Never talk in elevators, libraries, museums, restaurants, theatres, doctors’ waiting rooms, places of worship, auditoriums or other enclosed public spaces, such as hospital emergency rooms or buses.
Each person is surrounded by a personal space. This space affords a feeling of security and well-being, especially in crowded places. When strangers enter our personal space, it causes discomfort. Respect the personal space of other people and try to speak at least 10-20 feet or more away from the closest person. Don’t carry on loud conversations in crowded rooms and queues
Keep business private
Many personal and business conversations include information that should stay confidential or private. Avoid bringing these up in public for all and sundry to hear. Save confidential conversations for locations where you have more privacy. Also, never take a personal mobile call during a business meeting. This includes interviews and meetings with colleagues or subordinates. And don’t have any emotional tête-à-têtes in public — ever. Tears and recriminations are to be saved for times when you are behind closed doors (unless you want the whole world to know about your latest tiff!).
Shouting and bellowing into your mobile in public is a definite no-no! It disturbs and, very often, annoys others. Keep your tone pleasant and civil. If you have to tick off someone, wait till you are somewhere alone. No one wants to hear you screaming your lungs out at some unfortunate soul!
There’s a time and a place
Never ‘multi-task’ by making calls while shopping, banking, waiting in line or conducting other personal business. It can irritate others!
Pay attention to the people around you
It’s rude – downright rude – to check your phone for mail and messages or chat online with someone while you are in the company of others. You are wasting their time and also sending a message that they are not important. If you have an urgent work mail or message to check, inform the person/persons you are with and only then check your messages.