Rudeness and bad manners are increasing and having a negative impact on our society. Cell phones are a major part of the problem. You can do your part to reduce this impact by being selective about when and where you answer your phone or send text messages.
Do you remember the days before cell phones? Even before answering machines the caller had to call back to reach you. With the advent of answering machines they could leave a message so you could get back to them. Now days people feel that they might miss something if they don’t answer immediately.
Cell phones seem to be everywhere these days. They are helping us stay connected, but they are also breeding a culture of disrespect. We have all seen instances of people dining (not) together where each person is holding their own phone conversations or texting and ignoring the person across the table from them. Whole families do this instead of each of sharing with each other. The first step would be to ban electronics at the dinner table and any other social events; sports, weddings and other gatherings, school should be included. Whatever the situation, the world will not come to an end if you wait to return call or text.
Occasionally answering the phone is unavoidable, but for the most part, we should all learn to let it ring. If the call is important, the caller can leave a message and you can get back to them at a more convenient time. For those rare calls that just can’t be ignored, like a parent or boss, it is possible to set distinct ring tones for those numbers. Excuse yourself, and make the call as short as possible.
There have been cases reported of people receiving thousands of text messages per month; they are obviously addicted. Texting is becoming the preferred means of communication, which makes even little sense than calling. If you are texting, you have a phone in your hand; why not just call the texter and have a real conversation? Text can be handy to confirm an appointment or deliver an “on my way” kind of messages, but long conversations don’t make sense when you can interact personally with the texter.
One trick I do recommend when your rings. If you don’t recognize the number don’t speak first; no hello or anything. A lot of phone solicitations are voice activated, if you don’t say anything they will just hang up so you don’t have to waste your time talking to a phone solicitor.
Smart phones can be a very useful tool, or they can cut you off from society. Used responsibly they can help you stay in touch with friends and family; irresponsibly they can pull you down and destroy your credibility. Just as you are responsible in other areas of our life, your cell phone is a responsibility, too.