How important is your cell phone?

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

It’s a new month, which means a new national observation. Behold: July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. 

This month, we focus a little more on being respectful of the people around us when we have our phones in our hands, and respectful in the ways we use our phones. 

Most of us use our smart phones for a million and one things other than making phone calls, and that’s the trouble - the pull to grab the phone and log into the latest news, Twitter thread or game can be an addicting, all-consuming, powerful urge. 

We’ve all been at restaurants or festivals and seen couples or families who stood or sat in proximity to each other but each had their faces buried in their phones. We comment on it ourselves, but aren’t we all guilty of that? 

July is a good time to build a new habit. 

Here is some good advice for being more courteous when we use our phones: 

  • Silence the phone whenever you’re spending time with anyone.That includes work, a meal, meeting or with family. If you are attending a performance of any kind, turn the phone off. There are exceptions to this rule for medical professionals or other expectant emergency situations.
  • Hidden phones are forgotten phones. We pay attention to the people in the room, the performance or the meeting. It’s also a signal to the people we are with that they are important to us.
  • Step away if you do need to take a call. No one needs to hear your conversation while trying to enjoy a meal for two.
  • Shhh! Monitor the volume of your voice. Even when you step away, voices carry.
  • Pause before sending emails, texts, or social media posts. Consider the content, especially if it is posted in haste. Ask yourself the following questions before sending:

Will I regret sending this later?

Am I angry?

Will this hurt someone?

Is this appropriate?

Will this affect my job or relationship?

  • Don’t use your phone and drive. Many states prohibit cellular use or limit it to hands-free only. Any message can wait until you arrive at your destination. If it truly is urgent, pull to a safe stopping area to receive the message or call. Check out these stats related to distracted driving. 
  • Don’t let your mobile device become a social hindrance. We often look to our phone for social engagement when we don’t know what else to do. Meet new people when you are in a new circle of people and begin networking with the people near you. Expand your social circle face to face and broaden the world around you.


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