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If you are with one person, or group of people, it's rude to stay on your phone (talking, texting or checking FB) for extended periods of time. Enjoy the people you are with and have conversations with your other friends when you're alone. I do think it's OK to answer the phone if it rings or respond to a text as long as you're quick about getting back to the people you're with. As far as talking on the phone when you're alone but out in public, I don't see any problem here as long as your conversation is not any louder than it would be if that person was standing next to you.
By cdoss from Cincinnati, OH
Pay attention, this is going to be good. That's it, really. If you pay attention; to where you are, who you're with, and what you're doing; things will be good for you and the people around you.
Also, please don't ever use your phone when driving. If it's important enough to make or take a call, it's important enough to pull over. Driving while using a cell phone makes you a public safety hazard.
By Fishercat from Albany, NY
I have noticed that cell phone and texting tips are rarely discussed and that people have to learn the "rules' all on their own. I'd like to share a little of what I have picked up.
Familiarize yourself with other peoples cell and text plans. One person may have unlimited of everything while someone else gets charged every time you call them or send a text. Its nice to know that when you contact someone they aren't picking up the bill for it.
Leave voice mails only if it is something that can't wait. Checking voice mail can be time intensive only to have someone on the other end asking if you watched The Bachelor last night. A text or an email would suffice.
Do not mark anything urgent unless it is. Thinking you will get a faster response. If it's not urgent they will take longer getting back to you than normal.
Do not be mad at someone whom you can't reach now. Cell phones are for the owners convenience, not the callers.
Do not give out anyone else's phone number unless you ask. Ever. Cell phone numbers are not public and its never your decision to issue them to others.
Excuse yourself from a group when taking a call.
Turn your cell phone to off or vibrate when the situation calls for it. I have been to many weddings and funerals only to have the latest hip hop song come wailing through causing everyone embarrassment.
Texting is a great, silent way to communicate with others when you are in a public place. Use it. No one wants to hear about your nannies ob/gyn problems while having a latte.
Save yourself money by becoming familiar with abbreviations used in texting. Most text plans have limited characters per text. By doing this more information can be relayed in one text as opposed to 10. Example: Omg thats gr8! = Oh my gosh, that is great. Google it and experiment.
Do not forward silly texts and chain messages esp those ending with" if you don't forward this to 10 of you peeps (friends) you will be struck down by the plague". Unless you know the receiver is into veiled threats.
Just like any technology there are rules and guidelines to getting along well with others. Many times we don't even know our actions are perceived as rude. It is up to us to educate ourselves on the rights and the wrongs if we are going to participate.
Please educate your children with the manners portion and let them educate you with the slang, the technology, and all the fun things you can do with your cell phone.
By paula from Missouri
Editor's Note: Do you have any cell phone tips or etiquette to add? Please post them here.