Monday, May 19, 2014

Tip of the Day: Mobile, Smartphone Etiquette Revisited

If you're like I am, I find the majority of smart-phone users globally a royal pain in the back, largely because they seem immobilized in being able to use common sense.

In my 30+ years in working and living abroad, I fail to understand as to why citizens so many nationalities seem to be impotent to exercising basic mobile phone etiquette.

Consequently, I have dusted off a series of tips that I penned back in 2008, in the hope of reaching travelers who cannot...somehow...figure it all out:

1. First of all, I strongly appeal to all smartphone users, particularly those that spend the majority of their day with a blue-tooth sticking out of their ear, to get a hearing test from an independent vendor that does not sell hearing aids;

2. Suggestion 1 is directly linked to so many of us being hearing impaired, which is why many smart-phone users feel compelled to "scream at the world";

3. Please be considerate. If you are, you will make a favorable impression regardless of where you are going or what you are doing;

4.  Having worked with more than 90 cultures around the globe, I find that all nationalities generally dislike a jerk who feels they must shout at the world in order to be heard on a commercial aircraft, in an airport terminal, in a frequent flyer lounge or in close proximity to other people, thereby disturbing them;

5. Poor cell phone etiquette probably tops my list when it comes to rudeness and inconsiderate behavior;

6.  Please adhere to the "ten foot rule." If someone is closer to you than 10 feet, you are forcing noise pollution on him or her. Please be considerate;

7. When aircraft hatches are closed, that is usually a subtle signal to everyone to turn their smartphone off, although there is always the 10% that fail to comply;

8. Please do keep in mind that microphones on smart-phones are very sensitive. You really don't have to shout and disturb others;

9.  Make your calls short. There are times when you must make or receive a call. Be considerate of those around you;

10.  Keep the volume of the ringer turned down. Fifty percent maximum volume can be easily heard;

11.  Turn your phone to silent or vibrate when you are in public places. Seek privacy to take or make calls;

12.  Also note that increasingly restaurants abroad are posting signs discouraging the use of cell phones and often ask customers who use their cell phones to leave the premises;

13. I was flying to Manila some months ago and saw a man boarding a flight with three cell phones on his belt. Are you being considerate if more than one phone rings?;


14.  Increasingly, many nations have enacted regulations mandating that hands-free devices be used. See http://www.cellular-news.com/car_bans;

15. Remove blue-tooth earpieces after use. Mobile users who leave the earpiece or Bluetooth in their ears are disruptive to other travelers; and

16. Speak softly when talking on a mobile phone.