Cell Phone Etiquette Matures, in Theory

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 2006-03-14 Print this article Print

One mobile device retailer has come up with a guide to positive cell phone behavior, which while seemingly obvious, at least makes obnoxious handheld habits official.

Whether or not anyone will actually care at the end of the day is debatable, but one device retailer has published a list of dos and donts for those conflicted over the use of their handheld devices.

Mobile device e-tailer LetsTalk released its users guide to cell phone etiquette, which while seemingly obvious, is actually based on what the company identifies as comprehensive annual surveys on cell behavior dating back as far as 2000.
The list may appear painfully evident to those people who already consider themselves considerate in how they wield their handhelds, but those same people may take solace in the fact that the guide exists to educate the seemingly ubiquitous masses of mobile owners who have yet to realize that subtlety and refinement arent only for the dinner table.
The purpose for publishing the guide, beyond the shameless public relations opportunity, is improving the general publics use of its mobile calling capabilities, said Delly Tamer, CEO of LetsTalk. Tamer concedes that improved mobile manners may also improve overall phone sales, and contends that by offering the guideline his company is giving people another reason to shop there. It is pricing, not multimedia, that is driving the wireless uptake. Click here to read more. "My firm belief is that consumers are really looking for guidance on the right cell phone etiquette," said Tamer, with a chuckle. "Manners often lag technology when there are new social norms to consider; we shouldnt turn cell phone use into something bigger than what it is, but if we all jointly understand what is right and what isnt, that benefits everyone." Tamer would not go so far as to suggest that individuals should have to sign a behavior-oriented end-user agreement before being allowed to purchase wireless subscriptions. He also refused to comment on the practice of carrying a copy of the etiquette guide to hand to strangers who yap about their latest golf game on the quiet car of your local commuter train, or how to extract yourself from any physical struggle that could arise from applying the guideline in such a way. The most obvious recommendation offered by the guide is to mute your mobile when appropriate, which is fairly easy to understand for anyone who has ever been anyplace purportedly quiet since the dawn of the wireless era, in particular those who attend IT conference keynotes. LetsTalk predictably advises setting your cell on vibrate in such locations, but it does offer the helpful advice to leave your device in an easily accessible position when doing so, as unexpected vibrating pockets and luggage can attract unwanted attention. Choosing a mobile ring tone that you wont regret is another piece of advice suggested by the etiquette report, which seems particularly apropos now that audible lyrics are making their way onto wireless devices, and since rap music remains so popular. "Your kids may love your Fred Flintstone YabbaDabbaDoo! ring tone, but it might not be a hit in the board room," advises LetsTalk. One might conclude from this that 50 Cent could go over even worse. Next Page: Loud-talkers yapping on cell phones in public places.


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