Cell Phone Etiquette Tips for the Modern Age (2023)

Cynthia is a digital marketer, writer, and artist. She writes about a variety of topics, especially digital marketing, languages & culture.

The invention of the cell phone was a tremendous advancement. Now everyone everywhere can have access to communication if they need it, especially in emergencies.

However, the idea of “emergency” has changed. An emergency used to mean a call to the police or to 911. Now just about every cell phone call is an emergency.

The rise of cell phones came on so quickly and spread so pervasively that society hasn’t had time to really make up rules for use.

I have. I have made some rules to save our manners. Should anyone ever question the civility of humanity, you’ll have no doubt about our elevated status in the animal kingdom.

Cell Phone Etiquette Tips for the Modern Age (1)

Rule #1: Talking on Your Cell Phone in Public Must Be Short and G-Rated.

The scenario: a guy walks into the grocery store and forgets his shopping list. Realizing this, he calls his girlfriend. It’s an emergency.

“Hey, Baby. Do we need milk?”

“Yes, and eggs,” comes the reply.

The conversation could end there.

It doesn’t end there, though. The emergency continues. “I miss you,” he says back.

“Oh, I love you and I miss you, too,” she replies.

“Do you know what I want to do when I get home?”

Meanwhile, all the shoppers in aisle 7 raise their eyebrows. This conversation could go in hundreds of directions. But grandma with her two grandchildren thinks it’s getting to be a “rated R” conversation. She quickly grabs her box of grits and rolls off with her cart, quickly dragging the kids.

Biker-dude pretends to stare at a box of cereal. He might be able to learn a thing or two from the guy on the phone.

Teenage Nellie pretends not to listen, though she finds Cell Phone Guy quite attractive and wishes this conversation was with her, except not in public.

Cell Phone Guy must think that he’s having a private conversation. He’s not. Everyone can hear every word he’s saying. He obviously doesn’t believe it, though. He doesn’t even notice his mother standing around the corner pretending he’s not her son.

When talking in public, please keep the conversation short and G-rated. You never know who is listening, because everyone is.

Cell Phone Etiquette Tips for the Modern Age (2)

Rule #2: When You Need to Interact With a Human, End the Call

Back at the grocery store, Cell Phone Guy has carried on his conversation. All the shoppers in aisle 7 know the intimate details of his life. Sadly, this is way too much information for everyone to bear. Their skin crawls with details of some stranger’s personal life.

Cell Phone Guy is oblivious. He’s still talking when he gets to the express checkout lane.

“So, did you ask them about Friday night? Are Brenda and Shawn coming to the party?”

He waits for the response. So do the people who are also in line at the checkout.

“Great, so we’re going to the bowling alley? Which one? Is it B.Y.O.B.?”

He listens again.

“Really? That dump over on 21st Street? I hate that bowling alley. Oh well, I did get some extra beverages for the occasion.”

Cell Phone Guy steps up to the checkout counter—it’s his turn. He puts his items next to the scanner and the patient grocery clerk begins to ring him up. He grabbed some tomatoes that don’t have a SKU number on them.

“Excuse me, sir,” the employee asks, “but are these organic or regular tomatoes?”

Cell Phone Guy is so busy in la-la land with his girlfriend that he doesn’t hear the grocery clerk. She rings him up for organic tomatoes, even if they were the conventional variety. Why? He was talking on his phone and wouldn’t answer the question, leaving her no choice.

Cell Phone Guy hands the employee $40. She gives him $10 in change. It actually should have been $12, but she was in a hurry to get this sappy conversationalist and his drippy sentiments out of there. He wasn’t paying attention either, so Sir Talks-A-Lot doesn’t notice he was shortchanged.

After Cell Phone Guy leaves, the woman in line behind him said to the cashier, “I own that bowling alley. Now when I see that guy, I’ll know that he has a girlfriend, he drinks a lot, and that he hates my bowling alley. Would I be justified in not being very friendly to him when he arrives on Friday night?”

The other guy in line took notes, too. Now he knows he can go to the bowling alley over on 21st Street on Friday night and possibly score some free beer. He knows what the kid looks like, and Cell Phone Guy obviously doesn’t care about getting correct change. This could work in his favor!

When you need to interact with other humans, end the conversation, lest people all around you find out about everything you’re doing that weekend . You never know who might be in the checkout lane with you. Not only that, you might save a buck or two. Lastly, it’s incredibly impolite to talk to someone else when you’re supposed to be interacting with the person in front of you.

Cell Phone Etiquette Tips for the Modern Age (3)

Journalist Goes On a Rant About Loud Cell Phone Users

Rule #3: When Riding On a Bus Or In a Car, Utilize the Text Feature On Your Phone (But Not If You’re Driving).

Little Sally was riding in the van with her grandfather, uncle, aunt, and a couple of cousins. She was in college and had recently started dating the guy of her dreams. Sadly, they are on summer break and she returned home for the summer—three hours away.

They weren’t talking to each other on that van ride, thankfully. They started texting each other. Normally, this would be just the thing to do. No one has to hear pieces of conversation that would make anyone’s hair stand on end.

But Sally didn’t turn the chime off that alerts her when she has a text. The chime was a tiny portion of her favorite Dixie Chicks song. Every time her new beau sent a text, the same five words played over and over: “I’m not gonna play nice.”

She didn’t notice the smoke coming out of her grandfather’s ears. Her uncle and aunt squirmed uncomfortably while the rest of the cousins were too young to really care—they were blissfully ignorant. Everyone had heard these words 40+ times. Furthermore, they were trying to concentrate on the beautiful drive, not the “birds and the bees.”

Finally, her grandfather had it. He ended up yelling at her, telling her that she had better silence her phone or he was going to throw it out the window.

If only we could say that to all people who bother us with their cell phone transgressions.

For everyone’s sanity, though, if you’re going to be texting with people around you, silence your phone. It will still light up when you receive a text. Besides, if you’re that in love and that anxious to get a text, chances are you’ll be staring at the thing before the text even comes in.

Cell Phone Etiquette Tips for the Modern Age (4)

Rule #4: Talking On the Phone While Driving May Be Dangerous to Your Health

How many times have you been driving and someone callously cuts you off, doesn’t signal, and realizes the light has changed and slams on the brakes? Chances are it’s because that person is gabbing on the phone.

That just makes my day. If this were a Western-style movie, I’d get off my horse (car), and challenge my opponent to a duel. Alas, these are more civilized times.

Think about something. How many of us have operated heavy machinery? Think about driving around a backhoe and trying to maneuver it. Certainly you need both hands and lots of concentration. Now, try to talk on a phone while doing that. I don’t think your contractor will like it. You might end up scraping off the side of a mountain and pilling the dirt on yourself!

Think of your car as heavy machinery, because it really is. They often weigh several thousand pounds. You’re telling me that driving while talking on the phone is a good idea?

Before you think I’m preaching here, let me be the first to admit that I’m not a perfect paradigm of cell phone correctness. I do my share of gabbing and often travel long distances. The temptation to call people is often too much.

Ahead of condemning me to the lowest depths of cell phone bigotry, I will tell you this: I keep it short and I go hands-free. Beyond that I pull over.

Yes, statistics show that even hands-free isn’t ideal. I do have to argue that if you’re one to cut people off while talking on the phone, you’ve probably driven down the road at 70 mph while applying mascara, eating a greasy burger and jamming to the Top 40 at 120 decibels. No amount of etiquette training and scare tactics will affect your attitude about multitasking while driving—that is until you crash. So sorry.

The bottom line is this: ideally, don’t talk on the phone while driving. If you simply must, try to go hands-free and keep it short. The best thing to do is pull over. Heaven forbid you try to text and drive, too. You would like to live to see another day, right?

That’s it. Four simple rules. Heed them wisely. You’ll be more civilized and go on living out your life, gabbing to the fullest.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on August 18, 2012:

Rcrumple - that is *awesome* - I once had a standing ovation for putting someone in their place, but it wasn't because of a cell phone. Haha. Good for you for saying something. If more people did, maybe others would learn etiquette. I'm not likely to say something, though...I don't like confrontation, LOL.

Rich from Kentucky on August 17, 2012:

I loved this! It is very true! I like to answer people's questions when they're in line. When they talk on the phone, I respond as if I were on the other end. I've had one or two turn around and say, "Excuse me", and I'd respond, "Oh, you were talking so loud and ignoring everyone else, I thought you were talking to me!" Got an applause one by three people behind me in line. Great Job!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 24, 2012:

KenWu - it's weird how a phone will make a person do that. I am in awe at how many people just don't care about that. Oh well...maybe this article will help some people to figure out that it might be in their best interests if everyone doesn't hear the ugly family story. Haha. Thanks for stopping by!

KenWu from Malaysia on July 24, 2012:

(Video) Bad Cell Phone Etiquette? Modern Man's Manners Guide

Those are great rules. Yeap, almost everyone behaves just as how you come up those splendid rules. Some people will talk on their phones like there is no tomorrow. There was a time when I was in a shop looking at something, then I heard someone talking out loud, imagine how many people will know her itinerary of the weekend!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 20, 2012:

biancalyne - hehe, I know, right? You gave me an idea. I should print up this article, keep it with me and when someone is being rude, I can flash up the article at them. Hehe. Nah, I probably wouldn't do that, but sometimes I do use the evil eye to let them know I'm clearly listening to the conversation...that I mostly DON'T want to listen to. Hehe. Thanks for comin' back. :)

biancalyne on July 19, 2012:

Haha, ya, really makes you wonder if they would even notice. I should print this up and hand it out to those people :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

prasetio30 - thank you so much! I appreciate your stopping by! Indeed, technology is a wonderful tool, I admit I have an addiction to it, but yes, there is a time and and place for sure! Thanks again! Cheers!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 19, 2012:

Very informative. I know that we need this stuff, but again....we should use it wisely. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Biancalyne - hehe, it sounds like you speak from experience. Oh, I hear you. I would never do this, but when I used to work at a bookstore, if the person kept talking on the phone while I was ringing them up, I sometimes thought about throwing in my own book and having them buy it. Hehe. I would never do that, but the thought would make me laugh. :) Thanks for comin' by. Cheers!

biancalyne on July 19, 2012:

It drives me crazy at work when people come to make a payment and hand me their bill while on the phone.... I NEED TO SPEAK TO YOU!!! People assume I will know how much they're paying without actually speaking, because I am a mind reader, obviously. If I stop to ask how they are paying I get rude stares like I'm interupting. Don't go to a cash when you're on the phone, we're not bill payment machines, we're people and we deserve your attention for the 2 minutes that it takes.

Love the post! :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Stephanie - hehe, I know, right!? What is it with manners and phones and why do so many people forget their manners as soon as they click "CALL"? Hehe. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful day!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Anupam - thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this. Have a wonderful day ~ Cheers!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on July 19, 2012:

It does seem that the more cell phones you see in public, the more people are prone to bad manners while using them. I really don't need to know the details of your breakup with your boyfriend or hear a description of the rash on your behind while in a restaurant!

Your basic rules of cell phone etiquette should be included with every cell phone!

Anupam A from Bangalore, India on July 19, 2012:

Informational, and enjoyable too :) Voted up and useful.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

securityproducts - thank you so much! Thanks for coming by. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Leslie - thanks so much for dropping by! Many hugs to you! :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

pruntcess - hehe, I'm a big fan, too. Geez, I agree! I cannot understand why we would meet up with people only to answer to texts and phone calls. There's a whole world out there, not just a phone screen, right? Hehe. :D Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

iefox5 - I like it! Now if we could make it a law...hehe, but I'm not so sure people would go for it. Hopefully people will be understanding, though, and exercise a little politeness. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 19, 2012:

Your Cousins - indeed! That would be funny! Now if I could just figure out how to do all the sound clips...thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on July 19, 2012:

Congratulations Cindy on Hub of the Day, a fantastic hub and well deserved!

Leah from NY on July 18, 2012:

Wow, this was great. I'm a big fan of cell phone etiquette. I can't tell you how many times I can't take an order because the customer is on their cell phone. Also, my biggest pet peeve is when I make time to spend with a friend, who can't tear themselves away from the phone for 2 seconds, and all conversation must stop for this uber-important text. Thanks for making me laugh with your Hub (and letting me vent!)

iefox5 on July 18, 2012:

When Riding On a Bus Or In a Car, Utilize the Text Feature On Your Phone (But Not If You’re Driving). This is a rule we should pay much attention to.

Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on July 18, 2012:

In the grocery store nowadays, you feel out of place if you're NOT talking on your cellphone. Maybe your next hub should highlight some of those crazy ringtones!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

iTommy - hehe, that's great. I need to adopt a little more of that principle. :D Cheers!

tglowv - thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

Cocogirl8907 - thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

kthix10 - what a great idea! I also love the "evil eye" idea. I'll definitely give that a try! :D

urmilashukla - hehe, I was feeling rather wry and wacky when I wrote this. Someone had really gotten under my skin with their cell phone and I had to write about it. Thanks so much for your kind comments. Cheers!

Becky - thank you so much! I agree! I can't tell you how annoying it is when places of business don't take the initiative to tell their employees not to talk on the phone. It's a turn-off. It was a hard lesson for the kid on his first day, but one that will stick with him, I'm sure. As for the "bowel" conversation, I wouldn't have done it, but I would have been so tempted to say, "excuse me, I need to go vomit." Hehehe. Just kidding. But I can't say I wouldn't at least think about it. ;)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

Deborah Brooks - I'm so glad you stopped by. :) Those cell phones make us crazy despite what they're good for, for sure! Cheers!

StellaSee - In the stall. Yes! Actually, after I wrote this hub, I had something similar happen, too. I can't imagine handling my phone after talking in a public restroom. EW! :) Thanks for your comments. Hubhugs!

Tiffany on July 18, 2012:

So true! Love this hub :)

TommyGuns from Blakeslee, PA on July 18, 2012:

I love to interrupt others if they hold people up at work. Especially if it is an annoying customer holding others up.

cocogirl8907 from Oregon on July 18, 2012:

Loved your hub! This was very entertaining to read!

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD. This is a great hub. I so agree with these rules and would like to add a few. When you are a cashier, do not check your cell to see who called. I have really had this happen. He was just a young boy at his first job. He learned in a hurry when every person in line complained. Then he complained to me that they complained. I let him have it and told him the rules. His boss walked up as I was finishing and told him I was right and if it happened again, he was fired.

(Video) Cell Phone Etiquette - Modern Day Finishing School - Gloria Starr

Yesterday, I went out to lunch with my husband and we got to listen to a woman discussing her bowel problems with our lunch. Very appetizing conversation.

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on July 18, 2012:

Great sense of humor. Love this hub. Very useful and voted up.

Congratulations on Hub of the day award! You earned it.

kthix10 from IL on July 18, 2012:

LOVE IT! My hubby rides the train and will not answer his cell, we text or use gmail chat if we need something during the commute (with the ringer silenced). If someone with bad cell manner if yapping noisily away the commuters shoot them the evil eye until they notice

StellaSee from California on July 18, 2012:

Hey cc! I agree, it's annoying when you're working and you want to service your customer the best you can but you can't because they're talking on their phone. It's also annoying when you're talking to someone when their phone rings, they pick it up and proceed to have a 10 min conversation and forget that you exist. One time I was at a restroom in a store when this lady in the stall next to me got a call and started having a conversation. In the stall! I was thinking 'what is so important that you need to answer a call while you're going potty??' ahaha. Great tips here and congratulations!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

Christin53 - ah, yes. Sometimes I wonder if the cell companies make the most annoying ringtones possible so that the rest of us actually WANT people to answer their phones. But ANSWERING the phone is the opposite of what we want to happen. Can they just silence them, please? Pretty please? I hear ya. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy - hehe, your response made me chuckle. :D I definitely go nuts listening to other people's conversations in the store. I agree: short and to the point. No one will fault you for that. I'm often won't even answer the phone and I'll let the call go to voicemail when I'm shopping - if only because I don't want people to hear my conversation!

For the record, the vision I had of you sticking out your cane and tripping them made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. I know, you don't want to stoop to their level, but it would be sooo satisfying. Hehehe.

I used to have a Trac Fone. I had to give it up, though when the house we moved into didn't have a phone line. We got regular cell phones.

Thank you for the votes and shares. :)

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on July 18, 2012:

wow great hub and I so do agree. so glad I saw this shared on Facebook


Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

Miss_jkim - Hehe, um, hello? Hello? Are you there? Hello? Hehe...I thought you were calling me, but I guess my phone must have dropped the call. :D Oy vey, those cell phones are great but they can drive us batty, can't they? Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!!

Ann-Christin from UK on July 18, 2012:

Brilliant hub all those things you stated really annoy me. We seem to live in a world of people shouting into phones and extremely annoying text and phone tones. I long for peace and quiet sometimes.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD! Well done! I so agree with you. It is damnably annoying to be grocery shopping and have to listen to half of several conversations. There is NOTHING so all-fired important that you must be on the phone the entire time you are shopping!

Every now and then, I'll call one of my (adult) daughters, and glean the information that they are in the store. My reaction is "Ooops...ok, well, here's my question... ok. thanks, talk to you later." Keep it short and sweet. In that case, I did not know they were shopping, needed information, and ended the call when I found out what I needed to know. THEY did not initiate the call--and they never do while shopping. These people who can't put the phone down, or are using the BlueTooth--I SO feel like sticking out my cane and tripping them, then saying, "That was just to teach you to pay attention to your primary task!" Alas, I'm not willing to stoop to their level.

We don't even own cell phones, per se. I have a pay-as-you-go "Trac Fone" and it IS for emergencies, or getting directions. It is a phone, only! It doesn't text or access the Internet.

Voted up, useful, interesting, awesome and shared!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 18, 2012:

dghbrh - oh thank you. Hehe, I appreciate you comin' by. Cheers!

Nettlemere - Oh, yes, incessant ringing of the cell phone is like dinging torture. Couldn't agree more! Thanks for commenting ~ Cheers!

SweetbeariesArt - So true! I mean, we existed for a LONG time before cell phones ever did. Person-to-person conversation is always so much better. :) Cheers

Melbel - Oh, yes, the "Whoa is me" ploy. I've heard of it AND heard it. It just makes me want to go running the other way...even if I did want to help. It's so passive-aggressive. Sheesh. :) Thank you for comin' by. It's always great to see you. Fantabulous!

Shalini sharan - oh yes, I almost think we all should be required to have a little bit of etiquette lessons before ever turning the phone on. :)

Thelma - Hehe, thanks so much! I'm with you there. If a party is going to have people texting, why don't we just call it a texting party? I'm sure SO MANY people would want to come! :P Thanks so much for your comments. Cheers!

Kelley - aw, thanks for comin' by!! I appreciate you and thank you so much for your kind words. Hubhugs!

Sunshine - haha, you are too funny! :D You always bring a smile to my days and keep on keepin' on with that smartphone. ;) Hubhugs!

Cloverleaf - I love it! No cell use in the house! My house naturally makes me do that. I have a metal roof, so you either have to step outside or stand on your tiptoes in one tiny corner of the house or you won't get a signal. Hehe. It keeps me from being an addict for sure! :D

Mary - you're sooo right! Oh, that makes me crazy when someone answers their cell phone in the middle of a conversation - over food, no less! I'm thinking of the bacteria on the phone, the conversation I don't want to hear...ugh. You're absolutely right! ;)

Savingkathy - hehe, thank you so much for your kind words and comments. Have a wonderful day! Cheers!

Melovy - aww, thank you so much. It's always great to see you! Hubhugs!

DeborahNeyens - hello there! Great to see you. Thanks for stopping by and for your support. You're terrific! Hubhugs!

Audi - hehe, I got that from your blog. Great to see you, friend. Thank you so much for the compliments. I'm *blushing* You are a top notch Hubber yourself! :)

Teresa - oh, yes. That IS so sad when parents spend the whole time talking on the phone and don't pay attention to their kiddos. Then we wonder why the kids don't pay attention to parents. Alas, it's so reassuring to see all these wonderful comments in agreement with what you and I are saying. :)

ComfortB - aw, thank you so much! You're so sweet to come back and comment again. I appreciate you. Hubhugs!

Internpete - oooh, yikes. Close quarters with a private cell phone conversation. I have to think: would that woman have the same conversation with any of those strangers in the waiting room when she was OFF the phone? Oy vey. Thanks for stopping by!

Tammy - aw, Tammy! Hugs to you! Thanks for stopping by. Hehe...It's always great to see you and I just love your sweet, kind words. Hubhugs!

Vinaya - thanks so much!! And, really, I can't wait to see a hub of your artwork. :P

Alissa - hehe. First, I have to say congratulations to you again! Second, thanks for comin' by. :D Beware of the parent glued to the cell phone - children running amok.

miss_jkim on July 18, 2012:

Finally, something in writing on the subject! Great Hub, helpful, funny and interesting. Voted up.

Excuse me, my cell phone is ringing.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 18, 2012:

These should be posted for all to see. It is amazing the crazy things people do with cells. Using texting in close quarters is so the thing to do. It is amazing when I am on the elevator and someone beside me is talking loudly on their phone.

This is well done...so glad you shared this with us.

Congratulations on hub of the day, too. :)

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on July 18, 2012:

Cyndi, great hub. I was once on a bus when a teenager (maybe 18 or 19) was on her mobile on a more or less silent bus. She talked about her girlfriends' sex lives and of a new girl in the gang possibly being gay. She said the girl's name and spoke the whole time really loudly completely unaware that we had no choice but to eavesdrop on her conversation - it was so embarrassing, little grannies were tutting and sighing and I was doing my best not to laugh out loud - what a twonk!

securityproducts3 on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on Hub of the Day!

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on the HOTD!! Seriously great article and very insightful. I was grocery shopping before going away recently and there was a woman on her cell phone while shopping telling every last detail of her life including how she hurt her hand and was wheeling the cart with only one hand while talking. True story and couldn't make this one up if I tried. I remember just thinking seriously put the damn phone down if you already are minus a hand and just get your grocery shopping done. So I totally agree with you about Rule #1 after living through that recent experience. Voted up and shared too!!

(Video) Cell Phone Etiquette Minding Your Manners - Modern Day Finishing School

QudsiaP1 on July 18, 2012:

Excellent points to keep in mind. If it annoys you, it may annoy others too hence keep yourself in check everyone! :)

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on a great hub of the day!!!! Yes! Agree, agree, agree....oh why don't people get it? Perhaps after this important Hub, they will! Many thanks.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 18, 2012:

You go, girl! So true, so true. Congrats on Hub of the Day! You deserve it with this hub. Great layout and info! Love your sense of humor!

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on July 18, 2012:

I would just like to give you a big ol' amen on all these cell phone etiquette tips. Just the other day a friend of the family came over to swim at my parent's pool. She had a 4 year old son to watch but instead her eyes and ears were glued to her cell phone. Drove me crazy!! How I wish everyone would read this hub and adhere to your tips! Congrats on your hub of the day!!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on July 18, 2012:

Useful and informative.

Congrats for well deserved HOTD!

Tammy from North Carolina on July 18, 2012:

Great tips on etiquette with a dash of humor. Congratulations on a well deserved hub of the day!!

Peter V from At the Beach in Florida on July 18, 2012:

Great hub and congrats on hub of the day! Just the other day I was at a waiting room and there was a middle aged women who was hammering away on her cell phone. The problem was, it made an annoying 'beep' every time she pushed a button! I couldn't understand why she would continue to be annoying to a group of 20-25 waiting people. Oh well, I guess she needs to read your hub!

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on July 18, 2012:

Hello again. I wasn't surprised to see you've been awarded the HOTD. You deserve it for such an interesting hub. Congrats!

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2012:

Congrats Cyndi on a well deserved HOTD. I have met most of the types in your hub. My other pet peeve is people who can't take the time to watch their kids sporting events by staying off the phone. Kids love to know that you value them enough by watching them. It is a sad world when we ignore even our kids achievements to focus on phone conversations that can clearly wait! Voted up and shared!

iamaudraleigh on July 18, 2012:

Wow, you have many followers!!! You should, you are a great writer!

I so agree with you on many things here! I used to wait on people who were always on cell phones and ignored us! It was so rude!

I like your examples...so great!

Brilliant piece that deserved the hub of the day!!!

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on July 18, 2012:

Great rules and a well-deserved hub of the day. Congrats!

Yvonne Spence from UK on July 18, 2012:

Just popped back to say congrats on HOTD!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on July 18, 2012:

Congratulations on another beautiful hub and a well-deserved Hub of the Day!

Kathy Sima from Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2012:

Great hub! It made me laugh, but I completely agree with all of your points.. Congratulations on the Hub of the Day - it's well deserved!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD! Great Hub! People are becoming slaves to their cell phones! My biggest pet peeve is when I go to dinner with a friend, and they answer their cell. I just sit there patiently waiting for them to hang up! I think that is so rude.

I voted this UP, etc.etc. and will share.

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on getting HOTD. May I add one...if you are at someone's house visiting, don't answer your phone. You are there to visit them, not text. To me, it is rude when my in-laws are sitting down to eat dinner with us, and the phone beeps that they have a text. They feel compelled to check it between bites. OMG, really? I find this so rude.

My house is now a no cell phone zone!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on July 18, 2012:

Woohoo CC !!! Congrats on your HOTD. As a smartphone addict I could use some of these etiquette tips. One day. Not yet. Way to go! :)

kelleyward on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD! This is a fantastic hub! Love it! Voted up and Shared! Kelley

Thelma Alberts from Germany on July 18, 2012:

Congrats on the HOTD! You definitely deserve it. I find myself laughing so loud about your stories here. Those people who are doing these scenarios should read this hub. Awesome! Shared in FB.

BTW, I don´t like to be invited in a party where most of the guests are holding their cell phones texting instead of talking to each other. It stinks!! I don´t stay long on that party. What´s the use? " It´s a bad manner guys"...to those who don´t know.

shalini sharan from Delhi on July 18, 2012:

it was a really useful hub, indeed you reminded us of the the precaution we should keep while operating moblie

Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on July 18, 2012:

My pet peeve are people who talk on the phone in such a way it's like they WANT other people around to know what's going on in their life!

"I'm just having the biggest problem. I make so much money that I just run out of things to spend it on. Yeah, I don't know, Bob. I just keep telling them to just put the money on my big money pile."

Congrats on hub of the day! This is totally an awesome fantabulous hub (yeah, I did it. I made up a word.) Totally well-deserved. :P

SweetbeariesArt from California on July 18, 2012:

Walk aside of a building and away from people when you need to make a cell phone call. I try to limit the number as well because honestly you probably can say whatever you have to say, and say it in a more meaningful way when you see someone in person.

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on July 18, 2012:

My pet hate is cell phones which are on at work and ring loudly, lengthily and persistently from someone's handback/deskdrawer whilst they're not even in the office.

All good points in this hub.

deergha from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!! on July 18, 2012:

Very useful and practical hub. Voted up

deergha from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!! on July 18, 2012:

Very useful and practical hub. Voted up and shared:-)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 04, 2012:

(Video) Cell Phone Etiquette Modern Day Finishing School Gloria Starr

Ardie! Great to see you! Hehe, thanks for the shares. I'm with you - I totally get wigged out by public restrooms. I can't imagine already infringing upon my OWN privacy by talking on a phone in the bathroom. Plus, it echoes. Worse, have you ever heard the "thunk" of a phone being dropped in the toilet? Ohmigosh, I have and it was not good. Hehe. I didn't stop to help that person, either. I just ran out. Ha! I'm incorrigible. ;)

Sondra from Neverland on July 04, 2012:

This is an excellent Hub and Im going to share it all over the place for years and years (ok, I DO tend to exaggerate). I wish more people would practice cell phone etiquette. I have a lady at work who walks INTO the restroom blabbing on her phone. I have been in the stall when she's done this and it makes me uncomfortable that I dont know who can hear me pee!!! And another you mentioned already is the x-rated conversations I overhear in stores. Oy =)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on July 04, 2012:

Jeannie - hehe, I agree. I have NEVER, EVER responded to requests for Cityville or Farmville. I live on a mini farm - what's the point? Hehe. And yes, interacting with REAL people instead of a voice on the phone is the way to go. Cell phones definitely have a place, but not in the line at the grocery store when everyone can hear the personal, tantalizing details of your life. Ugh. Thanks for stopping by! ;)

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on July 04, 2012:

Cell phones drive me totally crazy. I wish people appreciated the people in the room with them more than the people on the phone. Honestly, it is not even the calls that drive me crazy so much anymore. I can't stand all the stupid games people obsess over. Once and for all, people need to give up on fake farms. They don't really have cattle and the crops are not real. I wish people would give up on those games on their iPhones and socialize with actual people more. Great hub and voted up!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on June 09, 2012:

buddyok - hehe, I was in a sarcastic mood when I wrote this. Indeed, I don't expect many people to pay attention, but I definitely felt better after writing this. ;)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on May 21, 2012:

mythicalstorm - hehe, I SO UNDERSTAND. I used to work in retail and I just couldn't believe how people seemed to have NO CLUE that they were being so rude! Thanks so much for commenting on another of my hubs. I'll be over your way shortly. Hehe. Hubhugs!

mythicalstorm273 on May 21, 2012:

YES YES YES and YES! These are so simple that I do not understand how people do not understand them! I used to be a cashier and I still work in retail. My biggest biggest pet peeve is a person who is on their phone unless it is needed. I am okay with the person who is calling somebody to find out if this item or this item would be okay for the birthday present, but not okay with them having an adult conversation in a toy store of all places. Or just totally ignoring me when I am trying to help them... especially if they asked the question first or came to me for help! Grrr that just gets my blood boiling. Anyways, another great hub and some great advice to those who need to learn it!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on April 30, 2012:

Hehe, kelley - thanks for stopping by. :) Glad I could make you laugh. I'll secretly admit that I'm not the perfect cell phone citizen out there but I do like to keep things private, LOL. Thanks again ~ Cheers!

kelleyward on April 30, 2012:

I was needing a good laugh and found one here. I think you are right that a segment of the brain turns off when the phone turns on. Ha ha! Loved this! Sharing. Take care, Kelley

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 30, 2012:

Hady - you are absolutely right. It's NOT that hard at all. I just have to wonder: does a segment of the brain turn off when the phone turns on? Hehe. Who knows. But, thank you so much for stopping by. :)

Hady Chahine from Manhattan Beach on March 30, 2012:

Nice job! Seriously, it is not that difficult to be respectful of others when talking on your cell phone in public places.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 28, 2012:

ThePelton - wow! That's a great example to share. I hope that person learned a little bit about the right time to use a cell phone. :)

ThePelton from Martinsburg, WV USA on March 28, 2012:

The conductor stopped the music, because the ringtone was as loud as, but not in key with, the music!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 27, 2012:

jenniferg78 - thank you for stopping by. :) Rated G is a must - you're right. You just never know who is listening. Haha, too bad rules of etiquette don't pop up on cell phone screens on power-up. That would be awesome!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 27, 2012:

ThePelton - I wonder if the embarrassment from the thousand pairs of eyes was enough to deter him for the next time. Hmm. Or was he oblivious. Yikes. The conductor stopped the music? That is impressive. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 27, 2012:

KiethJK - ooh, I like that one! Same same song going every five minutes would drive me insane. I have had to do something with that phone once and for all. Hehe. Just kidding. But, I agree. If the phone is going every 5 minutes, at LEAST put the thing on vibrate.

jenniferg78 from Philadelphia, PA on March 27, 2012:

oh this is such a great Hub! Your first rule- rated G content is a must! I love all your examples. This should be inserted in every new cell phone you buy ;)

ThePelton from Martinsburg, WV USA on March 26, 2012:

One other thing about the concert hall incident. He answered it AFTER the conductor stopped the music and he had about a thousand pairs of eyes glaring at him.

Keith James Kennedy from Milwaukee, WI on March 26, 2012:

LOVE the hub, pardon the rhyme. I'd like to suggest a new rule: Turn off ringtone when in public and/or if you live with someone. I can't tell you how close I was to breaking my roommate's phone after a whole semester of the same song going off every 5 minutes from his needy girlfriend.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 26, 2012:

Claro que cuando sabes otro idioma...hehehe...yes, it helps to know another language - peoples' attention to your conversation will diminish quickly. :) But, you're right: you never know who is listening. Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Max Zvyagintsev from New Zealand on March 26, 2012:

A great hub CClitgirl.

You never know when someone is listening in to your conversation.

Personally I like my privacy and I'd keep the convo as short as possible and not reveal any information.

One thing I find helps quite a bit, is if you know another language ;)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 26, 2012:

mikeydcarroll67 - Oh, I had that happen to me today! I was talking with someone over lunch and they started talking on the phone. I just kept right on talking and looked over once or twice as if to say, "please hang up." She did! Yes! Score one for the team! :D Thanks for stopping by.

mikeydcarroll67 on March 26, 2012:

I hate the people that are trying to talk to somebody in person and then trying to carry on a conversation on the phone. People do not know how annoying that is when it comes to trying to interact with that particular person.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 25, 2012:

ThePelton - you are absolutely correct - any place where you need some quiet and need to show respect, it should be silent for sure. School and work should be included here except for small breaks. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 25, 2012:

brandasaur - I completely agree! Cell Phone Guy does that. He does that all the time. It's a wonder he has friends. Haha! Thanks for stopping by. ;)

ThePelton from Martinsburg, WV USA on March 25, 2012:

As well as the theater or concert hall, you should put it on virate/silent in the Library, the Court and your Church, or house of worship.

brandasaur from Planet X on March 25, 2012:

Super nice hub! This actually made smile and laugh. I can totally relate.. one of the things that also pisses me of are those people who uses his cellphone while talking to you. :/

Voted up!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 25, 2012:

CZCZCZ - Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I agree, I had to write this because cell phone use gets out of hand sometimes! Oh, the glorious things that they are but can cause such headaches. In any case, thanks for your kind words and happy hubbing!

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 25, 2012:

HawaiiHeart - aw, in front of the kids? Now that's sad. It's one thing if you're around adults, but when little guys enter the scene, then it's time to hang the phone up or immediately go somewhere else. Thanks for stopping by and commenting - I love your input. Cheers!

(Video) Cell Phones and Teens | Rules and Hacks for Moms


What are the 6 rules to cell phone etiquette? ›

6 phone rules that EVERYONE should know
  1. 1 Put your phone away during meetings. ...
  2. 2 Don't fiddle with your phone while driving. ...
  3. 3 Don't have your phone on the dinner table. ...
  4. 4 Mobile calls in public transportation isn't very polite. ...
  5. 5 Don't talk on the phone when you pay. ...
  6. 6 Keep your phone off in church, the theatre or similar.
28 May 2019

What is the most important etiquette tip when using a cell phone? ›

Avoid talking about personal or confidential topics in a public place. If it must be on and it could bother others, use the "silent" mode and move away to talk. Don't make calls in a library, theater, church, or from your table in a restaurant. Don't text during class or a meeting at your job.

Do and don'ts of mobile phone? ›

Cell Phone Etiquette: The Do's And Don'ts You Should Know
  • Do:
  • Do give your undivided attention to your friend. ...
  • Do put your phone away. ...
  • Do utilize your voicemail. ...
  • Do filter your language when speaking on your phone in public places. ...
  • Do respect common quiet zones. ...
  • Don't:
  • Don't yell.

What are some good phone rules? ›

So it's important to establish rules that will help your teen make healthy choices.
  • No Cell Phone Use Before School.
  • Follow School Rules.
  • No Cell Phones at the Dinner Table.
  • No Cell Phones During Family Time.
  • No Cell Phone Use During Homework Time.
  • No Cell Phone Use Overnight.
  • No Cell Phone Use While Driving.
1 Jun 2020

What is not proper phone etiquette? ›

DON'T – Shout or whisper. Being overly loud or overly quiet can make a phone conversation very awkward and might mean you don't get all of the information to the person on the other end. Try and speak in a calm tone that will be easy to hear and understand. DO – Speak clearly.

Which cell phone habits are OK all the time? ›

4 Healthy Phone Habits to Incorporate Every Day
  • CHECK YOUR PHONE ON PURPOSE. "Use your phone with intention," says Juhi Singh, an integrative medicine specialist and the founder of the Juhi Center in New York, NY. ...

Do and don'ts etiquette? ›

Here are some essential do's and don'ts that I have compiled below that have not failed me yet.
  • 1) DON'T reply all. We've all been there. ...
  • 2) DO congratulate. ...
  • 3) DON'T make a mess. ...
  • 4) DO get to know people. ...
  • 5) DON'T get too drunk on the staff night out. ...
  • 6) DO ask how things work. ...
  • 7) DON'T shout. ...
  • 8) DO be on time.

Who should end the phone call first? ›

HELEN'S ANSWER: If you are the caller, you should be ready to end the conversation when it is over. However, depending on time constraints, the receiver could also choose to be through talking at any time.

What is an example of phone etiquette? ›

Examples of phone etiquette

By speaking clearly and calmly, you also tell them they have your undivided attention. Listening and taking notes: Rather than rushing a caller, proper etiquette involves listening to their concerns or requests while jotting down any necessary information.

What are telephone etiquette write any 10 telephone etiquette? ›

10 telephone etiquette tips you should keep in mind
  1. When you're speaking over the phone remember to smile, sound upbeat and keep your communication short. ...
  2. Greeting. ...
  3. Take permission and be polite. ...
  4. Identify self and the organisation. ...
  5. Clarity. ...
  6. Purpose of the call. ...
  7. Know your timeline and keep it short.
14 Jan 2016

What is the importance of phone etiquette? ›

Importance of Basic Telephone Etiquette

It reflects professionalism and appropriate conduct. It helps influence others and create positive impressions. It helps build interpersonal relationships by establishing trust and loyalty.

How do you train phone etiquette? ›

The 9 essential rules of phone etiquette for your small business
  1. Be prepared.
  2. Answer calls within three rings.
  3. Introduce yourself.
  4. Speak clearly (but not loudly)
  5. Watch your tone (and language)
  6. Don't interrupt.
  7. Give your full attention.
  8. Take notes.
18 May 2022

What time you should not call someone? ›

The unwritten rule was: don't call before 9 AM or after 9 PM to avoid waking anyone sleeping. People should apply the same rule today. It is simply rude to call someone too early or too late, no matter how early the receiver wakes up or how late they sleep. The only exception to this rule is if it's an emergency.

What are the 5 guidelines of essential skill for telephone communication? ›

  • Use a positive tone. This may sounds cliche, but your smile can be heard by the person on the other end of the phone call. ...
  • Make it crystal clear. ...
  • Be a sincere customer service. ...
  • Say the customer's name. ...
  • Improve your customer service by leaving them satisfied. ...
  • Conclusion.
20 Mar 2022

What are the 7 rules for using a cell phone at work? ›

Define Etiquette for Personal Cell Phones in the Workplace
  • Set cell phones to vibrate and ringtones to silent.
  • Speak quietly.
  • Keep calls short.
  • Take personal calls in private.
  • Avoid offensive language.
  • Use texting as a quick and quiet alternative to talking on the phone.
6 Mar 2017

What are the first 5 things you would like to do with this new phone? ›

First things to do with your new Android smartphone
  • Go through the in-box items. ...
  • Set up your phone. ...
  • Data Migration. ...
  • Personalize your phone with some new apps. ...
  • Secure your device. ...
  • Check if you have the latest version of OS. ...
  • Set up navigation and gestures. ...
  • Customize ringtones as well as notification tones.
1 Nov 2022

What do you think the rules of etiquette should be for using cell phones in a classroom? ›

Cell phones must be set on silent mode, in a backpack during classroom time and can only be accessed during lunch or recess. Cell phones must be stored away during classroom time and during any tests that are administered throughout the school year.

What are 2 guidelines to follow when using a cell phone? ›

5 Guidelines for Personal Cell Phone Use
  • 1) Use it sparingly. The best place to keep your cell phone at work is out of reach, especially if you get distracted easily. ...
  • 2) Keep it quiet. ...
  • 3) Talk in private. ...
  • 4) Keep it out of the restroom. ...
  • 5) Don't use your phone during meetings.

What are the three basic rules for handling telephone calls? ›

Essential Phone Etiquette Rules
  • Answer Calls in 3 Rings or Less. Answering incoming calls in three rings or less is the standard for the telephone answering service industry. ...
  • Speak Clearly and Professionally. Clear enunciation is essential for a good customer call experience! ...
  • Practice Active Listening.
1 Nov 2020

What is bad phone etiquette? ›

Examples of poor telephone etiquette include: Interrupting the caller. Eating or drinking. Chewing gum. Being slow to answer.

What is proper phone etiquette at workplace? ›

Telephone Etiquette at Workplaces Matter

Answer calls within three rings. If they're on another call, they should excuse themselves to grab the second call. The first customer, knowing what it feels like to listen to a ringing phone, should understand. Introduce themselves by their first name.

What is the most important thing in a phone? ›

Here are 10 of the most crucial specs that we need to check before buying a smartphone:
  • Processor. ...
  • RAM. ...
  • Phone Screen Size. ...
  • SD Card Storage. ...
  • USB File Transfer. ...
  • Sensors. ...
  • Internet Connections. ...
  • Wireless Connections.

What's the first thing you should do when you get a new phone? ›

5 things you must do as soon as you get a new phone
  1. Secure your handset. If you ever lose your smartphone, or it falls into the wrong hands, you want to be sure that your personal information won't be exposed. ...
  2. Check for updates. ...
  3. Get a backup in place. ...
  4. Protect your phone. ...
  5. Pair your Bluetooth devices.
12 Jan 2022


1. Are You Up on Cellphone Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts
(Wall Street Journal)
2. Cell Phone Etiquette in the Workplace
(Adriana Girdler)
3. Cell Phone Etiquette | How To Be A Lady
(The Modern Lady)
4. Digital Etiquette For Student Cell Phones
(Richard Colosi Media)
5. Cell phone etiquette
(Lady Etiquette)
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