Cellphone Courtesy Month

July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month – an event author Jacqueline Whitmore founded in 2001 with the intent to encourage the increasingly unmindful corps of cellphone users to be more respectful of their surroundings by using some simple cellphone etiquette principles.

In Whitmore’s new book Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work, she offers the following eight tips to those who want to improve their cellphone savvy:
  1. Let your voicemail take your calls when you’re in meetings, courtrooms, restaurants or other busy areas. If you must speak to the caller, use the e-mail or text messaging feature or excuse yourself and find a secluded area.
  2. Speak in your regular conversational tone and don’t display anger during a public call. Speaking loudly or showing emotion may distract those around you.
  3. Use your vibrate function or turn off your phone in public places such as movie theaters, religious services, restaurants, etc. Many wireless phones now have environmental settings that automatically adjust the phone and its features so you do not disrupt your surroundings.
  4. If you are expecting a call that can’t be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.
  5. Avoid interrupting meetings, social gatherings or personal conversations by answering your wireless phone or checking your voicemail. Discreetly excuse yourself if you must take the call.
  6. Use discretion when discussing private matters or certain business topics in front of others. You never know who is within hearing range.
  7. When walking and talking on your wireless phone, be aware of your surroundings and remember to respect the rights of others.
  8. Practice wireless responsibility while you are driving. Place calls when your vehicle is not moving. Don’t make or answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Use a hands-free device in order to help focus attention on safety. And always make safety your most important call.
I think that #1 is the offense that I am most often confronted by. When a person regularly answers their cell during a conversation it communicates their lack of value of the moment they are in. What about you? Which is your top issue?


  1. I'm with you on that one. I even feel the same way about call waiting. I hate being put on hold while they check to see if someone better is calling. Its rude. But its become a way of life so I accept it.

  2. no time to read this my cell is ringing

  3. Thank you, Kansas Bob, for keeping cell phone courtesy alive! If your blog readers want more etiquette information, they can visit my website at www.etiquetteexpert.com. Sincerely yours, Jacqueline Whitmore

  4. I'm with you Bob. If you're with someone face-to-face and a call comes in, unless it's an emergency, let it go to voice mail.


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