SCORE Small Business Blog

Technology: Phone Etiquette

The Cell Phone Dilemma

One of the biggest problems this new decade will have to address is the cell phone dependency.  This is the way to occupy your time when you are alone but rude when you are in the company of others.   The one on one connection with people has taken a back seat to the self indulgence of all that can be done with phones today; games, email, texting, searching the web, looking at pictures, facebook, twitter, music and more.    This growing global dependency on cell phones seems to be getting worse as everywhere you go you see people on their phones.   People are more distracted with all the capabilities smart phones offer.  Not only does everyone have a cell phone but everyone is looking at it, typing on it or listening to it with ear phones.  How do you manage this dependency? It has become a full time job for many people who use their phones to manage their business and their life on it.

Consider the proper cell phone etiquette when with business associates, friends and family:

  1. Never check email, text or talk on your cell phone when you are with people who expect your undivided attention.  Turn off or silence the phone.
  2. If you are expecting important information excuse yourself and look at your messages privately.
  3. Put your phone away when you are in public places.

Our cell phones have caused accidents and deaths and new laws and legislation have been put in place to prohibit the use of talking on cell phones and texting while driving.   As hard as it is to break away consider the appropriate times to use your cell phone. Consider finding the proper balance between our technology and interpersonal connection.   Please share other ideas on how to deter the cell phone dependency?

Julie BranderBusiness Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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Discussion (4) Comment

  1. amithc22Visitor

    I’m a New Yorker — born, bred and proud of it. So when I say it’s time to dial down on all this rude and infernal yakking on mobile phones, you’ll understand that it comes with a high tolerance for urban chatter and in-your-face attitude.

    Loutish cell use is out of control. Mobile phones now ring at weddings and funerals, job interviews and surgical

    procedures. No event is immune.

  2. jeetboseVisitor

    I just returned home from the HR Technology Conference in Chicago. I missed the first couple days due to work, but was happy I was able to take some vacation time to come to the event. This was my first opportunity to meet any of my “tweeps”. I am often asked by people who do not use social media if the relationships I am building with people on Twitter and through blogging are real. After my experience at HR Tech, I assure you, they are VERY real.

  3. firmanVisitor

    the world of technology is always moving forward…

    very useful info.. thank you

  4. At work, a phone should always be set to vibrate or silent and one should always curtail personal conversations and text messaging during work hours.There is no better way to make a poor impression on colleagues than to have your phone go off in a meeting, or let them see you whiling away office hours playing BrickBreaker on your BlackBerry.


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