Today’s Cell Phone and Mobile Etiquette

Today’s cell phones are nothing like what I knew as a kid- we all recognize the Zak Morris cell phone as ancient. Even my very first cell phone is nothing like what I have today. It was black and white, too large to fit in my back jean pocket, and the only thing it could “do” was call and text.

Enter the iPhone and the next generation of cell phones. We seem to have forgotten that the cell phone was primarily used as just a phone. Today a cell phone is more like a miniaturized computer, with “real” internet- not the watered down mobile junk, texting, picture messaging, cameras, an MP3 player, calendar, alarm clocks, tipping calculators, and an endless variety of other features and options.

Even today’s “basic” cell phone is in full color with a camera, watered down internet, and mobile instant messenger. We can no longer purhase a cell phone with only its primary feature: the ability to dial a number and call somebody.

A result of this transformation is poor cell phone and mobile device etiquette. I myself have texted friends, taken pictures, and made phone calls, all while driving. Although this may not be considered impolite, it is definitely not the safest thing to do.

And then we can talk about those individuals that constantly wear the ear pieces with blinking blue lights. You know what I’m talking about- we’ve all seen, and heard them. We’re shopping in a store and all of a sudden somebody is saying hello to you, only to find out that they are talking loudly to somebody on the phone. Please, you do not need to be on your bluetooth if all you need your hands for is to browse through the clearance rack. I myself will use the bluetooth occassionally while driving or walking through campus.

Cell phones have evolved into a fantastic piece of technology, capable of things Zak Morris would have never thought capable. I think we forget to appreciate how truly lucky we are to live in an era where we can carry around our entire music collection in our cell phone. In our appreciation, let’s try to keep the roads safe by leaving our cell phones at our sides while driving, and let’s consider those around us when using our bluetooth headsets.

This post was inspired by Brad Shorr’s Group Writing Project, sponsored by Dr. Mike O’Malley, author of the book Cell Hell- 55 Cell Phone Users You’d Like to Silence.

If you’d like to participate in the group writing project and perhaps win $500, you still have a few more hours to write a post about cell phone users, pet peeves, and the technology in general.

Check out the original post for details.

Also be sure to check out Mike O’Malley’s book: Cell Hell.


6 thoughts on “Today’s Cell Phone and Mobile Etiquette

  1. Hi Erika, Thanks for contributing to the contest! It really makes you wonder what cell phones will be like five years from now. Maybe predictions would make a good follow up contest.

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