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Cell phone etiquette (or not)
Old 01-15-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
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Cell phone etiquette (or not)

Spouse and I don't carry cell phones. We're not Luddites; we just think the hassles outweigh the putative benefits. We have too many bad Navy memories of them, too many dead zones on Oahu, one more piece of gear to care for, and not enough perceived value to the expense.

Up until now it's been a personal choice, but society appears to be imposing its new behavior upon our standards. We may end up getting cell phones just to be able to avoid cope with what seems to be new etiquette.

Here are some new examples we've noted over the last year or so:
- Who's calling, please, how come your name's not on my caller ID? Whaddya mean, you don't have caller ID?!?
- Hi, it's me. Whaddya mean "who", check your caller ID. What, you don't have caller ID?!?
- You know my number, it's on your caller ID. What, you don't have caller ID?!? Hang on a minute, let me try to figure out my number. Can I just call you back?

- I'm calling you from your driveway to let you know that I'm here. But you saw me pull in and you'd already started for the front door, so now you can go back to the kitchen to pick up your (landline) phone to learn it's me calling from your driveway, and then you can come back to the front door again. It's a new game called "duck in a shooting gallery".

- I'm not going to leave a coherent message. Just call me back at my long-distance cell phone number. Whaddya mean you don't have free long distance?!?

- Don't tell me your address, just text it to me and I'll look up the driving directions on Google maps. That way I don't have to listen to you reading me your address or even remember what you're telling me.

- Can I borrow your phone? I can't find mine and I need to call it. Gee, I hope I left its ringer turned on.

- Excuse me, my battery just died, what time is it please? Well, duh, I can see you're not wearing a watch, but why don't you check your cell phone? Whaddya mean you don't carry a cell phone?!?

- I don't have a plan for our upcoming socializing, so I'll just call you when we're finally on the road. You should wait there by your landline until I'm ready for you.
- Oh, just call me when you're 10 minutes away and I'll dash over there to meet you. No, why would I know if there's a pay phone near there?
- I know you've been waiting for an hour, but I called when I was supposed to be here to tell you I'd be late and you didn't pick up. What do you mean, you don't carry a cell phone?!?

- You're not important enough for me to spend my time at home or at work talking to you on the phone, but when I'm on a long & boring drive then I'll call you to relieve my tedium.

- I don't want to talk to your voicemail, so I'm going to call you over and over again until you pick up. What do you mean, your family shares this landline and your ringer is turned on?!? Can't you get your company (or your parents) to buy you your own phone?

- This movie is boring, so I'm going to play with my (lighted) cell phone and brighten the lives of my fellow audience members. Oh, and check out my new ring tone!
- Well, this conversation is boring and I don't want to make eye contact with you, so I'm going to play with my cell phone and find something more interesting to occupy my attention.

- Oh, I didn't want to talk to you, I just accidentally hit redial.
- Oh, I'm not talking to you, I just sat on my phone and it redialed.* So I guess it's actually my butt that's calling you.

- I know I'm in the middle of paying the cashier, but my cell phone just rang. Hang on, you'll enjoy hearing this conversation.
- I know we're driving and the light just turned green, but my cell phone is ringing.
- I don't need a grocery list! I'll just call you when I can't remember what I'm supposed to buy.

- I know I'm in the middle of a meeting, but my cell phone just rang.
- I know I'm talking to you, but my cell phone just rang.
- I know I called this meeting and I'm in the middle of lecturing talking to all of you, but my cell phone just rang.

- Hello there, it's 11 PM and we don't know each other, but someone accidentally left their cell phone here and your phone number is the last call they made. Can you tell me who it is? Whaddya mean, you don't have caller ID?!? If you remember who they are, could you call them for me and tell them they left their phone here? Oh, right, I guess this cell phone is the only number you have for them, haha, sure. Well, have a good night!

- People used to think I was nuts when I wandered around talking out loud, but now when I stick this thing in my ear everyone thinks I'm having a phone conversation! I didn't even put batteries in it!

- I'm too busy doing other things on my cell phone to bother using it for phone calls. Besides, nobody calls anybody anymore-- we just send texts.
- I can't handle a call plan that only allows 200 text messages a month. Why, just arranging our last meeting took over 50 of them!

- 21st-century disclaimer: The iPhone's default e-mail signature of "Sent from my iPhone" absolves me of all responsibility for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

- And finally, people's reactions to their cell phones ringing during "intimate moments". Let's just not go there.

*This did lead to a very entertaining Bangkok evening with shipmates gathered around a cell phone speaker when a guy (on independent operations at a bar) didn't realize that his butt had called to livecast his bar girl pickup techniques... blow by blow, so to speak. If only we'd recorded that "voicemail".
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
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So what is teh problem?! Just use ur cllphn. How can u txt w.o a cllphn?

Sent from my Iphone
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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I think you and I have discussed this before on here. I'm still a relative holdout on cell phone use. At the DW's urging, I keep one generally charged up and turned on in the glove box. But rarely use more than a few minutes a month and don't give out the number generally.

It is pretty inconvenient to carry it around with me unless I am expecting an important call or know I'll need to call someone.

I think I am the only person my age that I know without one. There is another guy here at work that doesn't have one, but he's old (like 58 lol ). So him and I have to share the 1 company loaner cell phone when we're out of the office on biz.

Folks know the drill though. Call me at home, leave a voice mail, email me, facebook me, IM me, etc. I get the messages in my email. I'm near a computer usually 90% of the waking day. I check many times during the day.

It is a hassle to explain the "I don't have a cell phone" thing to people. Or that, yes, if you call my landline, you will actually reach me if I want to talk to you. And yes I return messages. And yes, if you want to talk to me about something important, let's schedule an appointment to discuss whatever it is.

The change in interpersonal communication dynamics is interesting. Everything seems to be ad-hoc now and a planner is up $hit creek w/o a paddle. It can be hard to set a time for a meet up for dinner, drinks, etc. "Well let's just txt when we get out of wrk and meet up then, k thx lol".
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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Nords,

You listed most of the awful "etiquette" - but I am guilty of asking people to text me their addresses (yes, so I can GPS it) - have no land line (cannot justify the cost) - and for me, it saves me stupid phone calls - if I don't want to talk to someone, I just mute the ring (or have it off during meetings/personal time.) Also, can txt SO when I am on an accidental stop at grocery store to see if he needs something - instead of calling (vibrate vs ring) so - if he is in a meeting, he can ignore it...or not! I also like texting for finding people I am meeting up with, especially in loud places (hearing loss issues) All the better to read the news with!

My parents don't use theirs unless they are on vacation or an adventure.

Good luck with your cell phone purchases
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:03 PM   #5
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Mercifully immune to most issues on Nords list. Only DW has cell # and is off unless traveling.

OTOH a few weeks ago I had to read the riot act to some inconsiderate middle age executive type bimbo, who laying on her back with feet up on the wall in the YMCA SAUNA carrying on a drivel filled conversation on her cell phone. No, the leg position did not bother me.

An initial polite request to please stop the conversation was ignored, she continued with her prattle. So... a few minutes later, ahem..... a bit stronger language was used.

To her credit, a week or so later when she saw me, she teary eyed, profusely apologized for her inappropriate behavior in the sauna.

Seems, maybe now there is at least one cellphone user who hopefully will consider the circumstances for cellphone use. Nah, I won't hold my breath.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:09 PM   #6
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Or one that I thought was so interesting... the new modern date..

Two young-uns sit down and order their food... both whip out a cell phone and start reading, texting etc. to everybody else except the person they are with... a few short calls that last less than 60 seconds... and back to scrolling through the screens....

Went on the 30 minutes that I was watching.... I don't even thing they said a word to each other...
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
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I am just not home long enough to justify a home phone...but prepaid cell phones keep the costs low. Heck, 90% of my minutes are used for family, the other 10% is meeting people at a festival or other awkward location so I can spend 5 minutes trying to find them instead of the 2 hours that used to take place prior to cell phones. I do NOT miss those days. Oh and my preferred method of communication is email (no I don't have a smart phone, I am antisocial so the less people can get ahold of me, the better).
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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I believe cellphones make wonderful crutches for poor planning. I prefer to plan well, and not carry one.

My dad actually got quite upset when I told him I don't regularly carry a cellphone, nor do I see the need to do so. "It's not ALWAYS about YOU, son. We might need to get ahold of you."
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Spouse and I don't carry cell phones. We're not Luddites;
OMG, yes u r!!

I thought I was the last person on the face of the earth to get a cell phone to carry with me, in the June of 2000. I got it because my car at the time was a piece of junk and had about a 25% probability of starting when one turned the key in the ignition. In July of 2000 I gave up and bought a new car, but I have had the cell phone ever since. I have only had two physical cell phones in my life - - the Motorola flip phone I bought in 2000, and my new Motorola flip phone that I got a year or two ago when the first one broke.

Some (not all) of your issues could be dealt with by turning it off and letting the messages go to voicemail. Otherwise, don't really have any advice. People just expect others to have and use cell phones these days, even though they don't expect them to have landlines. The world isn't going to change back, so we just have to change with the world (or put up with the hassles).

Thank goodness I haven't had to add texting to my cell phone (the antique plan that I am on requires that you turn it on). I don't want texting because I understand you get advertising text messages that I presume you have to pay to get , and because Frank doesn't text either so I wouldn't use it. I hope texting doesn't become necessary to 21st century life.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:44 PM   #10
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We had only cell phones for about 10 years before we retired. Then we went to land line only mostly for cost cutting. It works for us, but our three sons think otherwise. So for Christmas they got us a tracphone loaded with 500 minutes. Our instructions were to take it with us when we leave the house in case they have to contact us before we get home. Whatever......
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:57 PM   #11
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Adapt and conquer. Most of those issues are social boundaries once you make it clear to those people they get in line or shove off. You win either way.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:38 PM   #12
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Nice list of etiquette. Here's one that I am not sure is covered: Person calls me and puts phone to ear while talking to someone standing next to them. I answer, "Hello?" and they keep talking to the person next to them, so I get a 10 seconds of conversation before I hang up and they call me back.
"Why'd you hang-up?"
"There was another conversation on the line, I could hear you too well, so I hung up."
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:42 PM   #13
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One of the problems is that people think they can call anytime they think... my BIL would call me at home anytime he had an idea pop in his head.... when I got my cell for emergencies, he did the same as with a land line... called me up to ask a question...

My answer 'since this is not an emergency, I will call you with what I think when I get home'... he adapted... ... I miss him now that he is gone...
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:10 PM   #14
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We were late adopters of cell phones. I transfered to a new job in corporate HQ as a Global IT manager for my megacorp mid 2004 and within a few weeks I was told I had to join the global call-out rota. "No problem" says I. "What's your cell number says they, it's not listed in the company address book" "'Cos I don't have one" says I. They were shocked when I told them I didn't even have a personal cell phone let alone a company cell phone, plus I did not have a laptop The fact was that I could access my e-mail and other applications from any PC in the company and whenever I traveled, 95% of the time was to other company sites so I just used other folks PC's or visitor PC's and didn't need to carry a laptop cell phone and be connected ALL the time.

Anywho, a few weeks later I had a company cell and laptop
However, I got used to it, and then DW got a "go" phone and over the past few years it has turned out to be very useful and we haven't had sales calls or sales texts or folks bothering us all the time. This last 2 years we have not had a land line at all, and the international calls we used to make from our land line every week we do through Skype etc.

I still have that original phone from 2004 and refuse to get anything fancy - it works perfectly well and I'll keep it when I retire.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:42 PM   #15
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I was a cell phone hold out for a long time. My co-workers kept getting on me saying that I needed to get one. I would like to have the money back that we have spent on them over the years. The one time that I was in a car accident after getting the cell phone--guess who left their cell phone at home. I probably leave it at home approximately 40% of the time. I need to make the change to a prepaid one. I am such a procrastinator.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:01 PM   #16
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My bass player is such a Luddite that when we are checking dates for gig, he pulls out a hand-drawn calendar. I wish he'd get a cell phone because he lives in two different houses, so I always have to call both.

We rarely use our tracphones, they are of an earlier generation, and have them off much of the time. So...

Me making a call:

Find phone.
Hold down ON button for phone to come on.
Wait for phone to boot up.
Choose contacts, scroll to HOME and press Call.

Daughter making a call:

Push a speed dial button.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:07 PM   #17
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- And finally, people's reactions to their cell phones ringing during "intimate moments". Let's just not go there.
I don't see the issue here. Just put your cell phone on vibrate...
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:17 PM   #18
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Our cell phones are a little old but there as tuff Timex watches. We have the text totally off and I look at it as a $25 a month savings for something we never used.

Until last week we didn’t have a land line because we didn’t want the expense. Our cell phones are long distance in the area we live but with every having cell phones what’s the differences?
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:40 PM   #19
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My daughter who I adore has one of those blue tooth things . You can not hear what she is saying so half the time I'm saying okay or that's nice and who knows what she's asking ? She could be saying Micah ( my grandson ) has 106 temp and I'm saying that's nice . Yikes !
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:56 PM   #20
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No cell phone here unless MegaCorp gives me one. DW has a prepaid one and that is good enough.
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