Roger Harty: Correct Mobile Phone Etiquette

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IF there is one thing that hasn’t change down to the centuries, it is the importance of courtesy and manners in our everyday lives.

I have a distinct memory of being with my father walking down Fenit Pier and he would routinely tip his hat anytime a lady would pass.

Now I would gladly accept that times have changed, men don’t wear hats as much as they used too and I’m sure not many young ladies would recognise the significance of the ‘hat tipping’ gesture, but I’m equally as sure the appreciation of good manners is as much appreciated today as in yesteryear.

Another thing that I’m sure that you will agree with, is that nothing has invaded our lives as much over the last few years as much as the onslaught of mobiles phones.

It is only twenty years ago that they started to become universally available and now you can’t go anywhere without the constant barrage of mobile phone users especially with the arrival of the smartphone.

Yes, I agree they are a wonderful invention but at the same time they have become very invasive of our everyday lives and can prove to be a great source of aggravation.

The tone of this article is not to lecture or to set out stark rules, but, put simply I ask the simple question – What are the rules of engagement with these devices.

My view on this is simple;  K.I.S.S — Keep It Simple Stupid.

Follow the basic rules of safety and courtesy…

• Do not use phone in times of danger or while using machinery  e.g. While driving or cutting the lawn.

• Turn the phone off when respect is required. At mass, funerals, meetings, appointments etc.

• When in the company of others respect the person or persons you are with, should the phone ring ask permission to answer and should this be given, do not engage on phone for more than a minute.

• At work the use of the phone may be under governance of your employer. Should permission to use a phone be granted, respect that but always give priority to work  and to the customer.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle here is No 3 as we see so many couples and children engaged on their phones when they should be enjoying the company of their friends and partners. For my part I will honestly say mea culpa (I’m guilty).

I certainly do not have all the answers here and the main purpose of this article is to create awareness of the invasion (good or otherwise) of these mini computers on our everyday lives.

I ask, when did you last see a sign indicating mobile phone etiquette?

The next question is, Is it important?  I believe it is and the sooner the better.

Next week I am going to write about   – Android phones/ Android people

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