Research suggests Americans, on average, check their cellphones every four minutes. This showcases how well mobile technology connects people yet raises concerns as it relates to common courtesies. July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month, and UScellular is providing tips so individuals don’t inadvertently ditch their manners in the digital era.
“As technology continues to evolve, so do social standards,” said Tabatha McKay, area vice president/general manager for UScellular in New England. “Nowadays, it goes beyond being responsive and monitoring ringer volumes. We often get irritated with the behaviors of others without taking time to examine our own habits.”
While consumers are willing to use their phones in most situations, it is still important to be mindful of where and how phones are being used. According to a recent UScellular survey1, scenarios considered most inappropriate for phone usage include in a place of worship, on a date or at a movie theater, but this perception has declined over the years.
The following reminders from UScellular address situations and scenarios faced by today’s mobile device users.
• Face the facts of video chats. According to a recent UScellular survey1, 40% of respondents spend more than an hour each day on video calls. When facetiming or using other similar platforms – unless headphones are used – both sides of conversations can be heard by those within an earshot. If in public spaces be mindful of volume and the appropriateness of discussions. If a camera is flipped, pay attention to what is in the frame and refrain from capturing unknown individuals or others who didn’t give consent for inclusion.
• Limit distractions during virtual work meetings. Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions when joining a video meeting. Refrain from checking notifications, text messages and emails as these distractions can be easily identified through eye movement and other nonverbals. Be sure to mute audio unless presenting to eliminate unnecessary noise. If a situation arises that requires the need to step away, momentarily disable the camera to not be disruptive.
• Pause before posting on social channels. Using social media continues to be the most common activity for all generations on smartphones1. Consider target audiences. Avoid the use of profanity, slander and inappropriate pictures. Be mindful of who is tagged – or featured in the background of photos – and make sure inclusion is pre-approved.
• Follow the “Excuse Me” and “10-Foot” rules. Some calls and texts are unavoidable even in social situations. Be proactive. Tell others if there’s an important call or text you will need to respond to, then excuse yourself. To not disturb others, it is also suggested that people choosing to talk on the phone or video chat in public do so at least 10 feet away from others.
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses, and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or http://www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, visit newsroom.uscellular.com. Connect with UScellular on social media at facebook.com/uscellular, twitter.com/uscellular, instagram.com/uscellular, YouTube.com/uscellularcorp and linkedin.com/company/uscellular.