We’ve all been quite attached to Cell Phones for a while now. It’s time for us to learn some of the rules–or commandments–of phone etiquette. Phones have changed. People have changed. It’s high time for the two to be in sync with one another to a degree at which we can all be comfortable.

You should all know the key rules by now:

Speak quietly in public, avoid extremely personal conversations, avoid a call while in mid-conversation with another human being–and if you must take the call, let them know before you pull the phone out of your pocket. Avoid texting when you’re talking with someone face-to-face as well.

Put your phone’s ringer on silent when in a theater or restaurant. Or better yet, just turn it OFF. Accessing your phone in a dark theater makes everyone else cringe.

Here are some more recent etiquette ideas to think about when customizing your social networking existence:

Some phones and software allow you to control the picture that appears on other devices when you call.

Avoid embarrassing profile pictures through Facebook, Blackberry, AIM, or Twitter.

Don’t look up answers to debates or questions on Google. We’re all guilty of this, but some people find it both annoying and pretentious. Companies like KGB and Cha-Cha offer a fun way to ask anonymous questions that may produce interesting results. Try them instead.

Only use call screening for business. Close friends and family shouldn’t have to go through a Google Voice or business filter to get to you on your cell phone. It’s inconsiderate, and they may disown you.

Don’t play the blame game with dropped calls. Chances are it’s either nobody’s fault, or it could be yours. Blaming the other person for a dropped call is ridiculous–so stop it.

Lastly, compensate for delay. We live in a world of instant gratification now, but with some advancements in technology come minor inconveniences that we have to live with for the time being. Many new and refurbished smart phones have a slight (or perhaps significant) delay that may cause some awkward moments during conversations. Always pause for a moment to give the other person time to receive your voice or text before beginning to speak again. Believe me, it can work wonders–and bring an end to frustrating overlapping conversations.

Following these simple steps will not only bring you into a peaceful and civilized 21st Century of technology, but also make you a much better person for it.

–Alex G. (The Blue Dot)

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