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Lighthouse - May, 2016.

Have You Got Good Mobile Phone Manners?

You’ve probably experienced it whilst shopping, the intrusive discourteous behaviour of some mobile phone users. They stroll along the aisles, looking at what to buy, whilst at the same time talking loudly into their mobile. They have an attitude that speaking on their mobile gives them some right to ignore other shoppers, allowing them to push past everyone regardless. They also force a way along pavements apparently believing that, clamping a phone to their ear, gives them some absolute right of way. Even worse they speak into an invisible aura, using Bluetooth, to connect to a hidden device. Some users even seek to increase their importance by juggling several mobiles. “Hey look how important I am, I have all these people wanting to speak to me – NOW!” Do they realise how idiotic the look?

Heads down, eyes staring downwards looking for obstructions on the ground, our feet, lampposts, potholes and rubbish, whilst keeping their phone as the focus of their world, – beware – , it’s the “walking texting twit”. Oblivious to the rest of the world, if they bump into us they’ll look incredibly annoyed because we have interpreted them!  The list is almost endless when it comes to the places that provide an opportunity for mobile users to talking loudly, or more probably “SHOUTING”. On the bus or train, in the theatre or restaurant, even whilst talking face to face with someone, mobile discourtesy seems to know few boundaries.

Well the good news for those who find such actions unacceptable, the fight-back to regain some tranquillity has started. What began as a joke became something of a viral Internet story. It was announced that in China a “phone lane”, where a phone painted onto the ground, similar to the painted bike which indicates a cycling lane, had been inaugurated. Whilst it turned out to be in a theme park, it addressed an issue which annoys many. Now, in other countries including American, ideas are being considered that explore and experiment with solutions to reduce mobile phone intrusion.

Of course what really needs to happen is for these annoying offenders to realise that their actions make them look less important, rather than being some influential mover and shaker. Being always “on call” underscores an inability to delegate or plan ahead and a lack of confidence in others and oneself.   Obviously there are occasions when we really do need to use our mobiles when others are around so, hopefully, these mobile phone etiquettes, dos and don’ts, will help.

THE MOBILE PHONE ‘DO LIST’

Think about the choice and volume of your ringtone – your upbeat all dancing tune says more about you than you realise.

Keep your conversations about family, relationships, money and work private – you never know who may overhear.

Watch where you are walking when texting or emailing on the go – bumping into others is a “no-no” and it may just be your boss.

Turn off your phone when at important social occasions such as weddings, religious services and at the theatre, cinema or restaurant.

Watch your language when in a public space – you can be heard by everyone.

Realise where you are calling from – a train announcement or a bathroom echo is a dead giveaway. 

THE MOBILE PHONE ‘DON’T LIST’

Use your mobile when your attention needs to be 100% focused elsewhere. Even hands-free, in the car, adversely interferes with driving.

Carry on mobile conversations or check your phone constantly when you are supposed to be giving your full attention to others. Such actions are dismissive and ignorant.

Become an over-demanding attention seeker selfie addict.

Carry on phone conversations when making a transaction in a shop, bank or restaurant.

Use your mobile when eating with family or friends.

Texting while talking or during a discussion

Send more than two texts without a reply – it looks very insecure.

Leave caps lock on when texting or emailing – it’s shouting!

Use acronyms like ‘LOL’ – laugh out loud, ‘ATM’ – at the moment, for example – others might not understand the real meaning.

Allow anyone else to use your mobile, especially when you or they are drunk.

Finish any relationship, work or friends, by text – it’s cowardly.

So the overall message, when it comes to good mobile phone manners, is basically, “Think before using your mobile”, although it is often easy to forget this. Like the wife sending a text, to her husband, whilst out at lunch with her lady friends. “Darling I am sending you my lunch-time love thoughts. If you are sleeping, send me your dreams. If you are laughing, send me your smile. I love you.”

Everyone wanted to know what her husband texted back to her: –

“I’m on the toilet. Please advice.”

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