July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month: Mind your Manners

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Cell phones are in almost everyone's pocket or purse, if not in their hands. While cell phones are convenient and helpful, they are also the source of serious frustration.

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, a time to reflect on your cell phone habits and maybe even make a few changes.

A Pew Research survey found the vast majority of Americans, 95 percent, now own a cellphone of some kind. That survey also found that 67 percent of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls, even when they don't notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

Another interesting statistic: According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 37 percent of users say others get upset with them for phone use, while 63 percent say they get upset at others for phone use. Basically saying other people bother you with their cell phone usage, but you don't bother anyone else.

Here are some tips to keep you minding your manners with your cell phone:

Silent Smart phone: It's mannerly to turn off your cell phone before meetings, meals, and meaningful moments – like dates! If you can't turn your device off, turn it to silent or vibrate. Your phone is not a replacement for an in-person meeting.

Exceptions: There are exceptions to every rule: A) Doctors, nurses, first responders, and health providers B) Those expecting emergency calls C) Those who have an infant with a babysitter or a person with a caregiver D) Those momentarily sharing photos with others E) Those researching an important request, such as directions.

Excuse Me: If accepting an emergency call, excuse yourself as quietly and calmly as possible from the gathering with an apology. For example, "I apologize, however, this is urgent, please excuse me. I hope to return in a moment."

Send a message: Use Text Messaging to send and receive messages without saying a single word.

Keep it private: Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.

Keep your cool: Don't display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.

Avoid "cell yell": Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don't recognize how distracting they can be to others.

Avoid Having ridiculous and loud ringtones: And if your phone rings when you're unable to answer, be sure to silence it immediately.

Along with these tips, you should also be sure to abide by cellphone laws to ensure safety.

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