||You're sitting in the theater, the lights dim; you anxiously wait for the play to begin. Suddenly you hear Snoop Dawg singing, “Sipping on gin and juice, laid back: with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” You look around, not sure if you’re listening to the intro to the play or something else. Then you realize someone just forgot to turn off their cell phone. You spot the offender scrambling to silence the phone. For you and the rest of the audience, the opening of the play has been ruined.
Cell phones are going off everywhere, in the pocket of the person sitting next to you in class, on the dashboard of the guy in his car when the light turns green, in the overloaded purse of the woman juggling three kids in line at the grocery store. With so many distractions during our daily routines, it’s easy to feel like cell phones are causing more chaos to our lives than good. After looking at the various aspects of cell phone use, I determined that it’s time to put some rules in place to avoid any future cell phone follies.
My Guidelines for Active Cell Phone Decency.
Priorities: Your cell phone doesn't always come first. No one should talk on their cell phones in church, in a movie theater, in class, in the bathroom, at meetings, or at meals. When you are with a group of friends, those you are with should take priority over anyone calling or texting. If you have to take a call in a group of friends, excuse yourself and answer the call in a more private place.
Ringtones: With ringtones ranging from Rihanna to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” it’s important to program different ringtones for different situations. Every phone comes with a “profiles” option which easily allows you to match the perfect ring tone with the situation. For visits to grandma's house you may want to impress her with a classical tune. At parties, show your style with the latest in hip hop. Always set the volume appropriately for each occasion.
Texting: You may think that texting is the answer to maintaining cell phone decency; after all, it's quiet, private, and unobtrusive. But just like talking on a cell phone, it is rude to text during a family event, while you are with a group, or in class. And don’t even think about using text messages to cheat on tests. It's a sure way to lose more than your phone.
Driving: Cell phones have become the lifeline of many teens. But because cell phone distractions cause over 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the U.S. each year, using one at the wrong time may be disastrous. Recent studies have indicated that using a cell phone while driving makes people four times more likely to have an accident. This is equal to the risk involved with drinking and driving. If you absolutely have to talk on the phone while you are driving, at the very least, use a hands free device, so that both hands stay on the wheel.
Mobile Conversation: A risky move that should always be avoided is talking to your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend while they are hanging out with their new crush. This is not only rude, but you can just forget about a second date!
Style: Another often overlooked aspect of cell phone common sense is the contradiction of mobile accessories and intelligent fashion. Last week, I saw a person wearing a blue tooth wireless earpiece, while not making or receiving a phone call Another “fashion don’t” is a wearing a cell phone, an Ipod, pager, and three other technological devices all hanging from your belt loops. It's like waking up and becoming Batman for the day with a fully equipped superhero belt.
Safety: Talking too loudly and giving away too much personal information over the phone while you are in public can have serious consequences. When in a public place try to keep your voice down and don't reveal too much about yourself. Predators can target you if they can easily hear your plans or personal information when you talk on the phone. Plus, people aren't interested in all of your weekend plans, no matter how fun they sound.
Cell phones are really fun and keep you connected to everyone, but they also come with a set of responsibilities. By following some of these simple guidelines, you and your cell phone will help to create a more positive experience for all of us.