I’m not a big cell phone user in the traditional sense. I rarely use it to make calls. But I’m an over-sharer on Twitter and Facebook, I use LinkedIn ad nauseum, and I love to blog on the go. What that means is I could have my face to the phone for approximately 6.7 hours every single day if I wasn’t careful. But I am careful. I do have some rules and I’d love to share them with you.
- For Love: When a loved one (ok, ok, or a liked one) is in visual sight, whether at home watching TV, on a hike through the wilderness, or anywhere else, the phone is not permitted out of pocket. Exceptions include actual, real phone calls. Exceptions do not include a quick Facebook post or a funny tweet or texting friends who are not there. If someone is in the room, THEY deserve your attention even if you aren’t talking and are just reading in the same room.
- For Respect: When a service person is attending to you, the phone can not be looked at or listened to. This includes quick transactions such as paying for a coffee, ordering a meal, paying a bus fare, or longer transactions such as getting your hair cut and styled, or your nails primped. I see this rule broken and the disheartened looks from the receiver on a daily basis. Remember, service people are actually people. They aren’t robots and they aren’t slaves. Have a little respect. Your call about whether you want mayonnaise or mustard in your sandwich truly can wait.
- For My Safety: As a pedestrian, if you are about to or in process of crossing the street, or if you are on a subway platform, the cell phone must be in pocket or at thigh level. So, if you are mid-conversation, mid-tweet, mid-map check, you must physically lower your arm completely. Let the person on the other end of the conversation know you are walking and you might stop talking at any moment. Let them call your name repeatedly because you didn’t tell them what kind of donut you want them to pick up for you. Even better, never walk and text. That’s how thousands of people have fallen onto train tracks, walked into moving vehicles, and caused other people to have car accidents. You are not immune even though you are smarter than everyone else.
- For Your Safety: As a driver, the cell phone must always be unreachable in the back seat. There is absolutely NEVER any good reason to pick up a phone while you are driving. NEVER. If you absolutely must pick it up, pull into a parking lot and park. If using the phone is that urgent, then you clearly need to put 100% of your attention into it.
30 Minute Video: From One Second To The Next – Texting While Driving Documentary
3 Minute Video: Dangers of Texting Whle Walking