Cell Phone Etiquette

by Katie on July 15, 2014

A Pew Research survey 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. That means a lot of people are checking devices at any given time or place, and since July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month it is the perfect time to talk about the expectations and practices of wireless device users of all ages.

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The other day I was thinking about technology and how fast it has changed. You know what is funny? My two young boys will never know what life is like without a cell phone. My two year old can use my Apple iPhone5S on the U.S. Cellular 4G network to play games, watch videos, and has even been known to call or Facetime people without my knowledge. My husband and I love our cell phones and have them with us pretty much all the time. However, we have noticed that our boys are watching us and we have decided to put limits on when we use them when they are around.

Our biggest cell phone rule at our house is that we do not use our phones when we are eating together. We also expect anybody else who may join us for meals do not use their cell phones at meal time. We like to use this time to talk and interact as a family.

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.(A)

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Here are some great tips to help you set some cell phone etiquette parameters in your own house.

  • Set the ground rules. If you have plans to meet a relative for dinner or spend happy hour with a group of friends, discuss expectations for phone use. By determining technology use before the gathering, everyone is able to enjoy the occasion.
  • Seek to understand. Focus on similarities instead of differences and set a goal to understand those around you. By understanding other’s wireless device use, you’ll be more courteous of their expectations.
  • Don’t be a buzz kill. Putting a phone on vibrate during a meeting or event can be a good idea, as vibration mode is meant to alert only you. However, it can distract others if the phone is placed on a table in a meeting or meal. Put the phone in a pocket, where it can alert you to a call but isn’t disturbing others. If you forget to turn off the ringer and get an unexpected call, phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 stop ringing by simply flipping over the device.
  • Avoid being blinded by the light. Adjust screen brightness prior to entering a dimly lit space, such as a restaurant, recital or school play. This allows you to use the device to take photos or use social media without disturbing those around you.

Teaching our children proper cell phone etiquette is a real challenge as more and more children are using cell phones. Let U.S. Cellular make it easier by using the Parent/Child Cell Phone Agreement to set some ground rules.

U.S. Cellular is visiting communities throughout the U.S. to enhance summer and provide residents with unique experiences at their favorite local businesses, block parties, community parks and major events as part of the Better Day program.They will be at the Iowa Speedway on August 2nd at the U.S. Cellular 250, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race and they want to giveaway 2 tickets to one lucky reader! Enter below.

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I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade. I received an Apple iPhone5S and am being compensated for my time.

A. Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Researc

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