Technology makes leaps and bounds every year. Today, the phones in our pockets have more computing power than the computers used in the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in 1969 – truly one giant leap for mankind! Cell phones allow us to instantly connect to family, friends, and business associates and stay in touch with those living on the opposite side of the world, but here are The Five Types of Cell Phone Users We Wish We Could Put On Silent:
- The Phony: From afar, the Phonies might fool you – with their eyes locked on the glowing screen, they seem to be busily managing matters that are just too important to wait. But up close, their eyes are glazed-over as they just mindlessly thumb their phone. In an effort to appear busy, uninterested or cool, Phonies stay glued to their devices. It is tempting to pull out our phones in line or on a bus, but look up! Enjoy your surroundings. You never know what you might learn or who you might meet when you emerge from the digital cocoon.
- The Devout Texter: These Texters will go to extremes to avoid a phone conversation. They will type up an entire manifesto and send it as sixty individual text messages, rather than simply calling! However, if someone specifies to you their preference, try to adapt. Yes, texting is convenient, but we need to know when to convert. Keep messages short and concise – use this function for simple, mundane confirmations or updates: “On my way!” “See you at 4:00 at the bistro!” or “Call me when you can.” Please, please, please, never text and drive! The American National Safety Council estimates that this poor decision causes 1,600,000 accidents per year, so keep your phone well out of your thumbs’ reach on the road!
- The One-Man Band: The One-Man Band walks into the room heralded by a discordant crescendo of buzzes, chirps, rings, and beeps. [BUM BA-BUM] Notifications serve a purpose – to alert users of an important call or [BEEP] text - but we don’t need to have every [DING] change accompanied by a unique sound [DUN DUN]. And certainly, when you attend an event or talk with others, mute your phone to keep your focus solely on the sounds coming out of their mouths!
- The Selfie Junkie: Equipped with two cameras, most smart phones today empower their users to take snapshots frequently and at no cost. This can be both a blessing and a curse. The Selfie Junkies harness this power to fuel their own vanity – taking constant photos of themselves and their surroundings, which they then upload for everyone to admire. An occasional photo can be a fun way to share your daily experiences with others, but keep everything in moderation. No one really wants to see photos of the yogurt you had for breakfast! When taking your pictures, be mindful of those around you. Don’t hold up traffic to get that perfect angle or take pictures of an unknowing or unwilling person.
- The Phone Phantom: You’ve called them four times and left two messages in the last four days. You’ve sent them three texts. It’s not pestering – you’ve given them plenty of time to respond, but these Phone Phantoms too often fade into radio silence. Granted, there is no obligation to send out an immediate response to a missed call or text; we should not be tied to our phones! Even so, common courtesy dictates that you make an effort to reply within 24 hours of the call or text. Don’t leave people hanging!
Take the “vice” out of the “device”.
Turn off the phone and get involved in the world around you!
How quickly we forget the people around us when our phone rings. It’s as if our handheld device is a small child, crying out for a bit of attention. And we MUST pick it up and coddle it.
If you have ever been on the other side of this scenario, you know how annoying it is to become invisible because the person in front of you places more importance on a phone call than a personal conversation.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but it is meant to add convenience, not detractions. As phones continue to evolve, and become more permanently attached to us, we must recognize the amount of priority we give them.
Here are some habits to keep in mind concerning our phones:
- The person in front of you takes priority over the person on the phone.
- If it is absolutely necessary to take a call while in the presence of others, excuse yourself and leave the room.
- If you cannot shop alone, bring a friend with you in body rather than by phone. Shopping while on the phone causes inconsideration of other shoppers and store personnel.
- Turn down the volume on your ringtone – or stop using it altogether. And when in a meeting or attending a function, also turn off the vibration mode. Ringtones and buzzes are incredibly distracting and show a lack of consideration.
Courtesy doesn’t have to disappear when your phone is around. Use your device when appropriate, and consider the other people around you within earshot.