It’s Cell Phone Courtesy Month!
I will be the first to admit that my digital etiquette could use some improving. My phone is my “everything”. It’s my calendar, camera, bank account, travel assistant, fitness tracker, design tool, communication platform and source of entertainment. I use it to increase efficiency, track results, and send selfies to my mom. I text my friends, communicate with family, and collaborate with committees using apps like Google Hangouts and Voxer. I can stream live video, take a class, evaluate my diet, plan my next room remodel, or read a book. Oh, and sometimes – but ONLY in the rarest of occasions, I use it as a phone.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans use a smart phone. 92% of those wish they had better etiquette. Since we use our phones as different devices, we also need to remember our manners in new ways.
Phone Tips according to Emily Post (THE etiquette authority):
- Be in control of your phone, don’t let it control you!
- Speak softly.
- Be courteous to those you are with; turn off your phone if it will be interrupting a conversation or activity.
- Watch your language, especially when others can overhear you.
- Avoid talking about personal problems in a public place.
- If it must be on and it could bother others, use the silent ring mode and move away to talk.
- Don’t make calls in a library, theater, church, or from your table in a restaurant.
- Don’t text during class or a meeting at your job.
- Private info can be forwarded, so don’t text it.
- NEVER drive and use your phone at the same time.
Give yourself a reality check – ask these four questions:
- Is this the right place to use my device? (If you’re in the restroom, the answer is always NO.)
- How is the person I am connected to perceiving this interaction?
- How are my actions affecting others and how am I perceived?
- Am I in control of my device. or is my device in control of me??
Trouble sleeping? It’s a no brainer.
Yes, I sleep with my phone. It’s also my alarm clock! I also really struggle with sleep. I blame all sorts of outside sources and I even have a sleep application on my phone that is supposed to help lull me to dreamland. The truth of the matter remains – POWER DOWN FOR BETTER SLEEP. Here’s a little snipit from an article on WebMD:
“As your brain revs up, its electrical activity increases and neurons start to race — the exact opposite of what should be happening before sleep. A second reason has to do with your body: The physical act of responding to a video game or even an email makes your body tense, explains Rosekind. As you get stressed, your body can go into a “fight or flight” response, and as a result, cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland, is released, creating a situation hardly conducive to sleep.
That “glow” from electronics is also at work against quality shuteye. The small amounts of light from these devices pass through the retina into a part of the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that controls several sleep activities) and delay the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin?
Also, check out this video of what actually happens to your brain and body while using your phone before bed. WOW!
- Count how many times you reach for your cell phone for a week. List what you were going to do when you grabbed your phone. Remove the applications that tend to be your “trouble zones” for 30 days. (Facebook, we’re looking at you.)
- Set aside specific blocks of time to check your email, social media accounts, etc. Don’t surprass the time
- Put your phones in the center of the table during dinner, or in a basket away from where you will be.
- Be fully present. If it’s family time, make it FAMILY TIME.
- Be consistent. Stop using your device at the same time each night and don’t go back to it.
- Place your phone across the room and set your favorite song as the alarm.
- Communicate with your family, set boundaries and goals together on technology. Here’s a great link to a family contract!
I love communication, being connected and knowing what’s going on just as much as the next guy – maybe even more. I adore being “the one” with the answer, the quick tip, or hilarious video. I’m also grateful I am surrounded by individuals who keep me in check.