Step Away from the Screen - July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Is there a distracted driver weaving in and out of traffic in front of your delivery vehicle? It’s probably because the driver is texting his girlfriend. Did you just notice a pedestrian walk into a light pole? Probably because that person was checking their instagram feed. My favorite rude cell phone user is the person who is constantly checking it while she’s on a date. (Truth be told, I used to be this person. It’s a terrible nervous tick and rude as heck.)

If you personally know any of the above types of cell phone offenders, then direct them to this post. Because we’re about to honor the awesome and much needed cell phone courtesy month!

First off, why are cell phone conversations so much more annoying than regular conversations? According to a Forbes article titled, “Science Proves that Cell Phones are Annoying and Distracting,” by Alice G. Walton, cell phone conversations are more annoying than two-sided conversations because people tend to get anxious when they lack control of a situation. Basically, when you’re exposed to a cell phone conversation about, say, a cheating spouse, you can’t really get away from the uncomfortableness of the situation. You’ve got to listen to all the gory details if you’re stuck on a train with this person.

So, why do people decide to have these important conversations in front of captive audiences? Because often times, people feel like they are isolated when they are talking on their cell phone. And sometimes, people like to feel like they are important. (Aka that guy in the business suit who can’t seem to talk quietly about the “big deal” he’s trying to finish.)

How can you use your cell phone in a less annoying manner? Here are a few suggestions:

Put it away if you’re out and off the clock: If you’re at a local show or play, or simply out to dinner, put away your cell phone. No one likes to feel like they are second to the screen, and performers would love to see less glowing screens in the audience and more attentive faces.

If you’re on the clock and have to take a call, be chill, baby: Talk calmly and softly, and try your best to talk in a secluded area to not bother other people.

Try to limit your texting when you’re out (and don’t do it while you’re walking or driving): Texting sure is convenient, but it should never take precedence over company, or your safety.


Image: Mike “Dakinewavamon” Kline,