I had two women behind me having a lively conversation in full-on outside volume voices. Then a couple came in, and the woman sat there next to me and proceeded to pick up her phone and make a call. A full volume, long, engaged conversation. (And she was calling in a language I don't speak, so I couldn't even eavesdrop. Sheesh.) Why she couldn't have made the call before she came in I do not know. Meanwhile her husband, who may have been frustrated with her, sat there bouncing his leg up and down and shaking the whole bench. I had to get up and leave until the class was over.
There are many ways I think, in my old-fashioned view, that basic common sense and social etiquette have been swept aside in our busy world. But cellphones, and smart phones in particular, present some of the biggest problems. I know I am guilty of grabbing my phone to check when a notification comes through, even if I am in the middle of a conversation with someone right in front of me. I am working on fighting that urge. Did you know that July is Cellphone Courtesy Month? Yes, it has come to that. We need an awareness campaign to remind us to mind our manners and use our devices appropriately in public.
As a major cell service provider, TELUS feels partially responsible, and so they've prepared a list of tips and reminders to mind our mobile manners. Here are some situations where they'd like us to re-consider how we are using our devices. Do you see yourself in any of these?
- While you’re out with your besties - Focus on what’s important – time with your bestie! Stop interrupting the conversation to check your Facebook notifications or send a quick Snapchat selfie. Give your pals the attention they deserve. Put your smartphone away and engage in some device-free, quality time.
- When hunger strikes - Go mobile-free at meal-time. Avoid touching your device at dinner by playing the phone-stacking game: whoever gets hands-y first picks up the tab or washes the dishes. Now that’s motivation to focus on the food. Bon Appétit!
- During your 9 to 5 - Boardrooms are no place to text, not even under the table. Concentrate on climbing the corporate ladder instead and switch your phone to airplane mode during meetings. Now that’s how you impress the boss!
- While you’re pumping iron - The gym is a dangerous place for your smartphone. To avoid crushing it with a dumbbell, leave your favourite plus one in the locker room. Instead, focus on your squats and embrace a technology-free sweat session.
- On date night - Brandishing your smartphone on a date is a tremendous turn-off! To keep the romance alive, give your companion your undivided attention and leave your phone alone– even if it’s blowing up with notifications. Stop, in the name of love.
Number 3 used to drive me crazy when I still worked in an office. Everyone would be playing with their phones under the table during every meeting, I swear! No wonder we never seemed to get anything accomplished.
Do you have any bad cellphone habits? Have you tried to combat them? Let's make a pledge to stay in the moment with the person across from us, or the food in front of us (after taking that one perfect Instagram shot of course) and put our phones aside. And please keep your calls private, as they should be. No one wants to hear your side of the conversation for the entirety of their morning commute or kid's karate class.
Follow @TELUS for more tips through the end of this month. One tip a day to keep you on your best mobile behaviour :)