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The Cell Phone Has Changed — New Etiquette Needed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the where-is-my-direct-neural-interface dept.

Cellphones 585

CWmike writes to share a recent manners-rant that has some great gems about how not to be "that guy" on a cell phone. What rules of engagement are absolutely necessary and what social penalties should become standard practice for repeat offenders? "It's easy to be rude with a cell phone. A visitor from another planet might conclude that rudeness is a cell phone's main purpose. Random, annoying ring tones go off unexpectedly. People talk too loudly on cell phones in public because of the challenge of holding a conversation in a noisy environment with someone who's not present. Cell phones need their own rules of etiquette, or we'll descend into social barbarism."

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Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (4, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897360)

"Do not use your cell phone while driving"

Cell phones cause car accidents all the time. Even if you think you're skillful enough to operate a cell phone and drive, doing so can be a role model for someone else who can't do the feat. My friend was even in a bad car accident last week where he says the other driver was on a cell phone. He had some broken ribs, a collar bone, and was pulled out by jaws of life.

If you get a ring, down answer it. Then find a pull off and call the person back.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897538)

I find it easier to justify it if you put it that people can't seem to *walk* and talk at the same time. Walking is something that doesn't require much mental effort, yet people are continually running into things (and other people). Funny enough that people can seem to walk and talk to someone beside them just fine, but give them a cell, and accidents galore (thankfully rarely fatal or injurious unless one walks into a manhole or something). And this is something people do naturally, and now we want to put them in a two-ton vehicle where the outcome is easily death.

OTOH, I wonder if pickpocketing is on the rise these days - with so many distracted pedestrians, you'd think a downtown core would make a target rich environment for people stealing wallets and such.

Hell, I've always wanted to grab a digital camera, and when I see people so engrossed with their cellphone texting, snapping a picture and starting a website about it.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897642)

The big difference between walking and talking to someone beside you is that:

They are in the same environment you are, and if need be, can stop you from doing something stupid.

Since they are in the same environment as you they tend to lull the conversation when you are at a physical location(eg an intersection) where you need to concentrate on not dying.

Your partner on the cell phone may very well be sitting in their house eating nachos and may start to engage you in a very involving conversation right as you pull up to the intersection, thus your concentration may not be where it needs to be.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (3, Funny)

trentblase (717954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897678)

The other day I was guilty of walking downtown while reading some random slashdot article. Someone coming the other direction tried to grab my phone (I imagine him saying "yoink" in his head) and I kind of instinctually pulled it away and kept reading/walking. Only later did I consider that he may have been trying to rob me. I stopped doing the reading/walking thing shortly thereafter (although I had never run into anything, or anyone... not even a close call as it really wasn't that hard to keep track of things immediately in front of me).

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897578)

"Do not use your cell phone while driving"

Or get a good Bluetooth headset and a cell phone with voice control.

My old AT&T tilt worked wonders for this when combined with a good headset (using a Plantronics Voyager 510). Voice dialing could be initiated by taking one hand off the wheel for just a few seconds and I never had to take my eyes off the road.. same thing for hanging up. Answering the phone was even easier.

Unfortunately, my iPhone 3G is a step backwards in some ways, including the lack of voice dialing without needing to pull out the phone.

Of course, this does not help the people who lose focus while talking on a cell phone. I'm not sure how this is any different than talking to someone in the car but I've definitely seen people who have this problem.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897700)

According to studies, talking on a cellphone is far more distracting than talking on a car. There are many theories as to why that is the case. The other person in the car is, well, in the car. They will notice the same dangers you will, and will start to fear for their own safety if you are too distracted. It takes more brainpower to decipher a phone conversation, with its dropouts, limited bandwidth, and lack of nonverbal cues. Those are the theories, but the facts remain: talking on a cell phone is far more distracting than talking with a passenger.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897838)

According to studies, talking on a cellphone is far more distracting than talking on a car.

Seems to me that talking on a car might actually be easier than talking on a Sidekick.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897924)

According to studies, talking on a cellphone is far more distracting than talking on a car.

Seems to me that talking on a car might actually be easier than talking on a Sidekick.

"I resemble both of those, Michael." -- K.I.T.T.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897888)

If I'm talking on a car, I'm distracted by the fact that I'm riding on top of a bloody car!

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (3, Informative)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897946)

Honestly, while watching some people talk by

A) turn their head to watch the person they're talking to
B) release steering wheel to emphasize a point with both hands
C) close eyes and shake head when listening

all indicate that some people can't do more than one conscious act at a time. They can either talk, listen, or chew gum, but not 2 out of the three. (FYI: talking is the conscious act - the rest are uncontrolled unconscious learned responses)

These are probably the same people that were talking on cell phones while walking into a telephone pole so hard they wound up in the ER [nytimes.com] .

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897604)

Fully Agreed.

I saw this test (I don't know whether it was on Mythbusters or some other show or even on the internet) where they were seeing how well a driver can steer a vehicle while not looking out the front windshield. I believe it was mostly about people programming destinations into their GPS while driving instead of doing it before hand - so it could be a few more seconds and such.

Turns out, a LOT of people can't keep it within their lane after 2 seconds, and even the most skilled people (that they tested) couldn't finish programming the GPS to a destination without being 2 or 3 lanes over.

Part of it is that your natural motions with your other hand will subliminally affect the other. If you look right, your bound to slightly turn right, its habitual for just about anyone. So that split second you spent turning and grabbing your phone from the passenger seat could mean you just bumped into that guy beside you.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897608)

"Do not use your cell phone while driving"

Cell phones cause car accidents all the time. Even if you think you're skillful enough to operate a cell phone and drive, doing so can be a role model for someone else who can't do the feat. My friend was even in a bad car accident last week where he says the other driver was on a cell phone. He had some broken ribs, a collar bone, and was pulled out by jaws of life.

If you get a ring, down answer it. Then find a pull off and call the person back.

Of course it can be quite a distraction for many drivers to try and hold a phone to their ear or type out a text while driving, What about hands free, e.g., bluetooth headsets? A quick poke of a button on your ear to answer a call shouldn't be any different than pushing a button to change the channel on your radio. If the phone is set to auto answer, it's not much different than having a conversation with a passenger in the vehicle.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (2, Informative)

Pezistential (1444245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897778)

Of course it can be quite a distraction for many drivers to try and hold a phone to their ear or type out a text while driving, What about hands free, e.g., bluetooth headsets? A quick poke of a button on your ear to answer a call shouldn't be any different than pushing a button to change the channel on your radio. If the phone is set to auto answer, it's not much different than having a conversation with a passenger in the vehicle.

There is a (maybe not so) subtle difference between a cell phone conversation and one with a person in the car. Passengers in a car tend to have at least partial awareness of what is happening in traffic and can adjust accordingly or even warn the driver (maybe that is worse, in some cases) Fiddling with a cell phone certainly can't help one's driving, but I think it's the conversation (with a non-present party) that is the real problem. Link below is a study... http://www.psych.utah.edu/lab/appliedcognition/publications/passenger.pdf [utah.edu]

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (4, Insightful)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897834)

This is fundamentally incorrect. Talking with another human takes your brain to a place that's outside the car. The radio can do this too, but not to the same extent. And the difference with talking to someone who's in the car is obvious: Their life is in jeopardy along with yours. They are more sensitive to pauses in your speech (which can indicate personal danger for them) and most importantly, they're helping you look at the fucking road.

If you think talking on a bluetooth headset is better in some way than holding it up to your year, you're dead wrong and studies indicate this (a simple google should do the trick). About the only real difference is that holding it to your head slightly limits your field of vision. It's the conversation that's distracting, not holding up the phone. Sorry.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897786)

Why not just go straight to speaker phone? You can hear them, they can hear you, and best of all, both hands are on the wheel, and both eyes* are on the road.

*Assuming you're not a pirate.

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897944)

"Do not use your cell phone while driving"

What if you are used by your cell phone?

Re:Rules 1 through 7 of using a Cell Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897956)

Even if you think you're skillful enough to operate a cell phone and drive, you're almost certainly wrong.

There, fixed that for you. People tend to overestimate their skill at certain things, especially when it comes to driving.

first rule (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897380)

1. It is NOT rude to talk on your cell phone in a public place eg on a train or bus or w/e. just like how it isnt rude to have a conversation with a real person there. It pisses me off that on some busses I take they say "please dont use cellphones, it may disturb others" when it doesnt say "people dont talk, it may disturb others". in fact, on a phone there's less talking to be disturbed bya s thre's only 1/2 the conversation.

Re:first rule (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897410)

Agreed. People seem to go far out of their way to become annoyed with people speaking on their cell phone. Sure, there's some rude people out there that are overly loud or obnoxious with their phones, but the majority of people speak normally into their phones and when people don't see the listener of the conversation, it bothers them. Boo hoo.

Re:first rule (1)

lapsed (1610061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897504)

That's an easy one. People talking on cell phones are always the loudest people on the bus/streetcar/subway. If you've been told not to talk on your cell phone, it's because you're being annoying.

Re:first rule (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897546)

It's not that they're talking on their cellphones that makes us say it's rude IT'S HOW THEY ARE YELLING ON THEIR CELLPHONES SO LOUD THE REST OF US CAN'T TALK TO EACH OTHER that makes us say it's rude.

Re:first rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897708)

It's not that they're talking on their cellphones that makes us say it's rude IT'S HOW THEY ARE YELLING ON THEIR CELLPHONES SO LOUD THE REST OF US CAN'T TALK TO EACH OTHER that makes us say it's rude.

I was talking to someone who was on their cell and it was one of those that picked up every ambient noise in the room - loudly. they kept saying "what?" WHAT? and I found myself talking louder and louder. Finally, realizing what I was doing, I then just said, "I can hardly hear you and you need to call me back on a land line." and I hung up on them.

My patients for shitty cell phones and connections has gone to zero.

They called back on a real phone.

Re:first rule (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897788)

It's not that they're talking on their cellphones that makes us say it's rude IT'S HOW THEY ARE YELLING ON THEIR CELLPHONES SO LOUD THE REST OF US CAN'T TALK TO EACH OTHER that makes us say it's rude.

Try riding in a bus with college students or younger. The ones on their cell phones often are the ones who are being -quieter- than their peers talking to other people right next to them. I can only assume this is because they've become more adapted to talking on a phone than talking face to face.

From my experience, it's often the older crowd that is actually doing much of the cell phone yelling. Judging from my mother, at least some of them are yelling because they don't know how to turn their volume up all the way and/or don't realize that just because they can't hear the other person doesn't mean they themselves can't be heard by the other person. Which is unpleasant for me and anyone who is actually near her.

Re:first rule (3, Insightful)

residieu (577863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897918)

So complain about the issue that actually bothers you. You're annoyed by LOUD PEOPLE, not by people on cell phones.

Re:first rule (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897932)

Are they yelling or do you just notice them more because you see the phone?

I ask because I'm guilty of this. I notice people tapping at their phones, quietly I might add, and the judgements start. This is not something I'm proud of, but it does make me think twice before singling people out.

Re:first rule (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897962)

What you say? You're breaking up.

Re:first rule (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897616)

If you're talking to someone and it's a little noisy, you lean in and speak directly into their ear. If you're talking on a cell phone and it's a little noisy, you speak loudly to compensate. Big difference.

If I can hear what you're saying from the next seat, next table, or whatever, you're talking too loud. Cellphone or not.

Re:first rule (2, Insightful)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897666)

My own theory on this particular rule is that it's made by people who are not annoyed by the half-conversation per se, but rather that they're the kind of person who likes to eavesdrop, and eavesdropping on half a conversation just isn't as entertaining.

Re:first rule (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897768)

I find that getting only half the conversation is almost always more entertaining. Less is more.

YOU ARE TOTALLY RIGHT (1, Troll)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897736)

1. It is NOT rude to talk on your cell phone in a public place eg on a train or bus or w/e. just like how it isnt rude to have a conversation with a real person there. It pisses me off that on some busses I take they say "please dont use cellphones, it may disturb others" when it doesnt say "people dont talk, it may disturb others". in fact, on a phone there's less talking to be disturbed bya s thre's only 1/2 the conversation.

TALKING ON A CELL PHONE IS THE SAME AS TALKING VERY LOUDLY WITH SOMEONE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.

Re:YOU ARE TOTALLY RIGHT (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897968)

No actually it's not, although I'm not quite sure why. I found boisterous teens shouting and goofing off loudly somehow much less annoying than a guy having a loud invisible conversation with the air. The guy conducting the invisible symphony doesn't annoy me at all.

I have no clue why the cell phone makes it more irritating. Maybe the fact that in some sense it's technology rather than people causing the problem?

Re:first rule (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897836)

Yet people find people taking on cellphones more irritating than they find people talking to each other. Are you saying they're wrong about what irritates them because I think the irritated person knows better than you what annoys them.

Re:first rule (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897936)

It's not talking on your cell phone that's rude. It's TALKING ON YOUR CELL PHONE ABOUT THAT SLUT WHO GAVE YOU GONORRHEA LAST WEEK AND... and I had to cut off the rest of that because the slashdot filter won't let me have that many caps in a single post BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE I'M YELLING.

Like opium pipes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897400)

Cell phones should only be used in the privacy of your own home, and public use should be prosecuted.

I don't have any reception at home, (1)

ambrosen (176977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897760)

you insensitive clod.

Not just cell phones (3, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897416)

It's not just cellphones. All technology has an integral etiquette, from cars to scissors. If you think about it, you can find examples for pretty much anything on your desk, and can probably come up with good reasons for why we have the social mores that we do. Everything from not chewing on other people's pencils to not touching someone else's monitor screen.

Cellphones only draw our attention because they're fairly new technology (compared to, say, pencils) and the offenses commitable with a phone can be extremely annoying and in some cases deadly.

This is a much broader topic if you take the time to look into it.

Phones. (4, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897432)

People who speak twice as loudly on the phone as they do in person bug the hell out of me. Also, people who pull their phones out during a movie to text, seemingly unaware that their phone is like a laser straight into our eyeballs.

Re:Phones. (5, Insightful)

trentblase (717954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897752)

When the hell are phone manufacturers going to provide microphone feedback so you can hear your own voice in the earpiece? It's not like it's hard. (And I'm not talking about the half-second-delay echo of my own voice that I sometimes get on AT&T)

not sure which is worse (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897452)

Cellphones or 'social crusaders' who think they know what's best for everyone else. I think we have too many of them now in places of power. This is a far greater concern for me than the occasional annoying cellphone. The last thing we need is yet another stupid rule to obey that does little but reward over-sensitivity.

Re:not sure which is worse (5, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897598)

So you've had run-ins with people offended by how you use your cellphone?

The last thing we need is yet another stupid rule to obey that does little but reward over-sensitivity.

The rules are already there. They always have been. They're unspoken, like most rules of polite behavior. People who break them are really never punished, just labeled "rude" and properly ostracized. Perhaps confronted, but you never know where the line between "rude" and "sociopathic" lies in any given person, and it's not always worth risking unprovoked assault.

Nope, I am forced to conclude that inappropriate and rude use of a cellphone is far worse.

Re:not sure which is worse (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897758)

So you've had run-ins with people offended by how you use your cellphone?

No. I have one, but it's for emergency use only. I'm far more concerned with social crusaders who want to reward oversensitivity with new conventions, or worse, laws. If someone's too loud on their phone, I ask them to keep it down. For the most part, I get immediate compliance. No need for new 'social etiquettes' (draconian nanny law).

Nope, I am forced to conclude that inappropriate and rude use of a cellphone is far worse.

You might, until some groupthink decides something YOU do is a 'threat' because they're too scared to ask you to stop/change it. Honestly, I'm not a fan of cellphones. I think they're trojans that get people used to the idea of nickel-and-dimed network services and surveillance, but that doesn't make me want to support a social crusade that rewards the insecure.

Okay how about this (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897904)

Baby dies in Torrens tragedy [news.com.au]

Responding to questions about the incident, police said Ms Lucas, 30, was jogging about 100m to the east of the Hackney Rd bridge about 8.45am when she stopped to take a mobile phone call.

She scribbled a number on her leg - she did not have writing paper - and turned her back to the pram.

When Ms Lucas finished the telephone call and looked up, her child and the pram had vanished.

Asked if she might have heard a splash or the sound of the pram falling into water, Chief Inspector Mick Fisher said he did "not want to speculate on that".

Witnesses said Ms Lucas, fearing Leonardo had been abducted, was "hysterical" as she ran along the path toward the bridge.

"Someone took my baby in a pram, a red Mountain Buggy," Ms Lucas told witnesses.

...and so on. Another moron with a mobile.

You don't need to yell into your phone. (4, Insightful)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897462)

I've noticed that people needlessly talk very loud on celphones. People underestimate how well modern cel phones will isolate your voice from medium-noisy background pratter. People automatically compensate for the person not being in the room without even thinking about it.

If I'm in a public place such as a casual restaurant and I need to take a brief call, I answer in very low tones and the person on the other end can understand me just as well. My tone of voice is indistinguishable from other conversations happening in the area, and in fact is usually quieter.

Try it sometime as an experiment if you are used to speaking up on the phone, you'll find you can be heard just as well. I have a friend who literally doubles her volume on the phone. It's quite amusing and I have to remind her that she's doing it.

Also, if you have any kind of music as your ringtone (except for the harp sound on the iPhone) you should be shot. A phone should sound like a phone, not a disco.

Re:You don't need to yell into your phone. (4, Funny)

igadget78 (1698420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897530)

I've noticed that people needlessly talk very loud on celphones. People underestimate how well modern cel phones will isolate your voice from medium-noisy background pratter. People automatically compensate for the person not being in the room without even thinking about it.

WHATS THAT HONEY? YOU WANT ME TO PICK UP TAMPONS ON THE WAY HOME?

Re:You don't need to yell into your phone. (5, Funny)

ignavusinfo (883331) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897562)

s/(I've noticed that people needlessly talk).+/$1./

Re:You don't need to yell into your phone. (5, Informative)

CAFED00D (1337179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897564)

Most landline phones echo your voice into the earpiece. Cell phones do not do this, so many people raise their voice to compensate for the fact that they can't hear their own voice coming from the phone. Still, it's very annoying.

Re:You don't need to yell into your phone. (1)

assemblyronin (1719578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897580)

If I'm in a public place such as a casual restaurant and I need to take a brief call, I answer in very low tones and the person on the other end can understand me just as well. My tone of voice is indistinguishable from other conversations happening in the area, and in fact is usually quieter.

This is perfectly acceptable. My choice is to sometimes (depending on the restaurant and situation) as a courtesy to the people at the same table, excuse myself and go outside or stand in the hallway next to the restrooms.

Re:You don't need to yell into your phone. (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897674)

Also, if you have any kind of music as your ringtone (except for the harp sound on the iPhone) you should be shot. A phone should sound like a phone, not a disco.

IMO, I think Ringtones are the least annoying part about a phone, its just their volume that gets annoying. Much like someone talking too loud I don't want their ringtone to disrupt me either. However, if someone has a rap/punk/rock/pop/techno/classical/retro song for their ringtone, I have no issue with it whatsoever.

Then again - I'm sort of a people watcher. Sitting on the bus I'll look at people (trying not to stare of course) and figure out as much about that person as I possibly can. So if I'm in the middle of deciphering the style of a cute girl who is reading a teen novel, and her ringtone is Eminem's latest hit - I know that much more about her. I also know to avoid her in the future. =P

Re:You don't need to yell into your phone. (4, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897928)

IMO, I think Ringtones are the least annoying part about a phone, its just their volume that gets annoying. Much like someone talking too loud I don't want their ringtone to disrupt me either. However, if someone has a rap/punk/rock/pop/techno/classical/retro song for their ringtone, I have no issue with it whatsoever.

So, if someone's cell starts beltin' out Achy Breaky Heart, you do have an issue? Then J. Random OldDude probably has an issue with rap/punk/rock/pop/techno/classical/retro. Or one of those.

Besides, even if the ringtone is based on something I like, why is it a favor to me to hear a truncated, low-fidelity, looping fragment of it?

Sorry, a ringtone is a signal to the user of the cellphone that they have a call or message. Anything else is an abuse of the concept.

It is not a personal statement to every unfortunate within earshot, because in truth they don't give a rat's metric ass about you as a person, or about any statement you wish to make about yourself. You're a part of the scenery, and if your ringtone is loud, you're an annoying part of the scenery.

I'm 6'7" (2m to the US Customary challenged) tall, but I don't run around yelling I'm really tall. I like Metallica and Alan Parsons Project, but I don't blast either out of my cellphone. I really enjoy the occasional dram, but I don't slosh Laphroaig at folks with me at the bar because I think it's vitally important for me to make a personal statement about my superior tastes in whisky.

Sometimes I think the entire "Buy this ringtone and customize your phone to represent YOU" scam is one of the telecom industry's biggest worthless marketing success.

Re:You don't need to yell into your phone. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897840)

Also, if you have any kind of music as your ringtone (except for the harp sound on the iPhone) you should be shot. A phone should sound like a phone, not a disco.

Aw, come on, EVERYONE loves Beyonce's "All the single ladies!"

One of the best videos of all time!

Manufacturers should adress "that loud guy" issue (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897476)

It seems to be so prevalent because cellphones don't appear to feed back what you're talking into the earpiece of your handset.

They can start with doing just that. Bonus: recognize high levels of noise in the environment (nowadays often not having much impact on the actual transmission due to noise suppression) and yank your volume in the speaker even more, to combat the reflex of talking even more loud.

Though I'm not sure how to make people understand that talking clearly is better than just being loud. Side effect of voice operated UIs, eventually?

Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897712)

It also doesn't help that you have no idea how loud your voice sounds on the other end. I was told that people can barely hear me on my cordless phone, but I didn't know how bad it was until I listened to my own voice on the base unit. Time to get a new phone.

A worldwide standard on decibel levels would be very helpful.

Look at Japan (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897488)

Japan seems to have this issue solved.

Everyone texts on their cell phone, voice conversations in public are fairly uncommon. On a train, they have announcements to silence your phone, which most people do.

Even the crappiest prepaid phone has unlimited messaging/email for 300 yen a month, taken out of the 1,500 yen monthly fee, while voice is very expensive on that phone (90yen/minute).

Re:Look at Japan (1)

rgravina (520410) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897656)

I was going to mention Japan too. I remember after spending some time there and getting a train for the time since I'd gotten back, thinking how rude someone was for having a conversation on their phone on the train. I laughed about it once I realised my reaction but even now I still get annoyed by people having non-essential conversations on the train. Sure, calling someone to pick you up is no problem, but talking about your relationship problems for 30 minutes in front of a car-load of people? Maybe some people find it therapeutic.

Re:Look at Japan (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897790)

Japan seems to have this issue solved.

That, as well as queuing up outside of a train door so passengers can actually disembark. A very simple problem that seems to confound a surprisingly large fraction of European public transport consumers.

If we all did as the Japanese, a lot of our social situations would be more efficient. But slightly more cramped.

Re:Look at Japan (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897890)

Japan seems to have this issue solved.

Yes, they do have manners in Japan, that's true. That's not a solution we could use though, we lack the sense of respect and shame that they do.

Re:Look at Japan (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897912)

Everyone texts on their cell phone

And it's email, not SMS. That means that you can reply from a proper keyboard and you don't get gouged by networks charging as more for 140 characters than for a minute of talk time.

Re:Look at Japan (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897916)

Of course texts come with their own share of problems. Plenty of people who would never answer their phones during a sit-down meal seem fine replying to texts.

The way I see it, unless you are a doctor, you should be able to sit down for an hour without *touching* your phone.

Bluetooth headsets make people seem insane. (5, Funny)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897490)

Walking down the street laughing and talking to an invisible friend without holding anything up to their ear. It's just not right.

Re:Bluetooth headsets make people seem insane. (4, Funny)

Jhon (241832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897828)

Actually, I am insane. And wearing this little thing in my ear makes me appear normal!

Not only that, but some guys PAY me money now to look busy and sit in an office!

Re:Bluetooth headsets make people seem insane. (1)

A Pancake (1147663) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897866)

When and where I talk to Jesus is my own business, thank you very much.

Re:Bluetooth headsets make people seem insane. (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897872)

I just tell people I'm talking to Al. Their reaction is fun whether they get it or not.

Bluetards? Bluetools? (1)

Boss Sauce (655550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897876)

Somebody needs to tell them that the person on the other end can't appreciate their grinning and nodding.

Those pleated pants do go nicely with the headset, though-- nice look, bluetard.

This reminds me (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897492)

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, only to find out a few seconds later they were on a Bluetooth talking to someone else?

That happened to me the other day - saw an old friend from Highschool on the train, he was half facing the other way because it was crowded.

I somehow went 3 whole minutes of conversation seeming completely fluid and comprehensible, only to see him turn and be like "Wow I haven't seen you since High School!"

You can imagine my baffled reaction.

Re:This reminds me (4, Funny)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897680)

I somehow went 3 whole minutes of conversation seeming completely fluid and comprehensible, only to see him turn and be like "Wow I haven't seen you since High School!"

You can imagine my baffled reaction.

You're the last candidate I'd approve for a Turing Test.

Re:This reminds me (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897732)

Oh man, I do this in the office all the time. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident. I never get beyond a few lines, though. It's always good for an office laugh, though.

But 3 minutes... Has it occurred to you that 3 minutes of your intro when talking to someone is complete bullshit? I hate the formalities people use when approaching you... How are you? Weather's nice, blah blah blah... Cut to the chase. I'm not so lazy that I need you to help me waste time. And that goes doubly so on a cellphone.

Re:This reminds me (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897738)

That happened to me five minutes ago.

My boss was asking me a question about something, I was trying to explain it to him, and right in the middle of my explanation, without any signal like turning his head or looking away, he unexpectedly got right back into another (LOUD) conversation with whoever had put him on hold on his bluetooth.

IT MAKES ME WANT TO STRANGLE HIM. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. IF YOU'RE USING ONE OF THESE AND YOU'RE NOT DRIVING A CAR, I HOPE IT EXPLODES IN YOUR EAR.

Re:This reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897942)

Ouch! I was riding my bike talking on my bluetooth headset when it suddenly exploded in my ear! Damnit.

Text Messaging (1)

assemblyronin (1719578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897494)

How is most of this 'list' news?

If you're in a noisy situation, or in a delicate one (sans movie theatre) where you're not in a one-on-one conversation with someone. Silent Mode + Text Messaging = Everyone else is happy, and you're able to communicate freely.

Oh wait, i forgot about PHBs that need to be reminded that they're not the only people on the planet... nevermind, carry on.

More on theaters (1)

Tony Stark (1391845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897508)

When you're sitting behind me in the movie theater watching the Book of Eli, don't answer your phone and put it on speakerphone so the other person can hear the movie and the two of you can comment on it. The other person didn't pay for a ticket and I did.

Loudness (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897516)

The reason people talk louder on cell phones is probably the same reason they used to talk louder on landlines: Sidetone, or the lack thereof. When you don't hear yourself over the phone, you speak louder to compensate. I've noticed cell phones, especially the really tiny ones, have almost no sidetone.

Re:Loudness (2, Interesting)

flabordec (984984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897594)

There's also the matter of visual feedback, knowing that the other person actually received whatever you told him and he is thinking of an answer instead of a communications failure. That happens to me a lot specially in areas with lousy reception or with bad cell phones, when I know the other person is probably not hearing me well.

How about we use existing rules of etiquitte? (5, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897610)

"Don't be a loud, obnoxious asshole." Works for phones or any kind of conversation you're having in a public space.

"Don't drive like an asshole." Works for phones, texting, or just generally not paying attention to the multi-ton machine you're controlling while it hurtles down the road.

"Don't pull the asshole move of interrupting someone who is speaking to you by doing something else." Works for people who get a call in the middle of a conversation.

Really, "Don't be an asshole" is about all the etiquette we really need, and it's a lot simpler than trying to remember Emily Post.

Re:How about we use existing rules of etiquitte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897652)

Don't lecture me, asshole.

Re:How about we use existing rules of etiquitte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897686)

Don't call me asshole, asshole!

Re:How about we use existing rules of etiquitte? (1)

Lattitude (123015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897792)

And please feel free to apply this rule continuously and in all situations.

Re:How about we use existing rules of etiquitte? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897930)

It's all the laws we need too. Until, of course, two people disagree about what constitutes being an asshole...

Ring tones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897614)

A phone should sound like a phone, not a freakin' gameboy.

Text (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897622)

How about everyone text? Its generally more efficient (no miscommunication), easier to be safer (when you text you still have the message hours down the line and can respond instantly), and in all honesty a lot less rude to the other person. With a phone call, you expect the other person to drop everything and devote at least 75% of their attention to you, with texting it requires a lot less attention.

Re:Text (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897644)

How about everyone text? Its generally more efficient (no miscommunication), easier to be safer (when you text you still have the message hours down the line and can respond instantly), and in all honesty a lot less rude to the other person.

Slower to write for most of us. More expensive. Not interactive. Not real time.

Wait for the apologists ... (1)

adipocere (201135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897630)

A friend who works the pharmacy at Walgreens has some very entertaining stories to relate. Despite signs posted otherwise, people will pull up to the drive-through, with other customers waiting behind them, and continue conversations for a few minutes before turning to the pneumatic tube. Once, my friend asked one of these folks if there was anything they could do and received a lecture about how rude it is to interrupt someone's conversation.

Similarly, I see this waiting in line at restaurants all the time. I could make exceptions if someone had arrived and was taking, say, a request for a Coke for one kid, a Sprite for another, and so forth, but I encounter that about once a year.

I'm sure someone will chime in with the idea that this person might be a DOCTOR *Felicia Day eye-widen and gasp* and we mustn't do anything to interrupt. When was the last time you or anyone you know had an actual life-or-death emergency call to their off-duty doctor? It isn't as if you get too many over the phone heart surgeons responding to a phone call in the movie theater with this stunning new operation that only they have performed and they must relate every cut, clamp, and stitch to some quivering and clueless resident.

If I were building a movie theater, I'd use enough rebar to make it into a giant Faraday cage. And maybe have an FCC-approved step-pedal triggered highly localized cell phone jammer at every cash register. As it is, I have stopped ducking and weaving to everyone who, so immersed in their uber-important cell phone conversation that they cannot look where they are going, would like to bump into me.

Re:Wait for the apologists ... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897756)

If a doctor gets an emergency call, he doesn't stand in line at McDonald's while he's taking it. He seeks out somewhere quieter and out of the way where he can think.

Feel free to interrupt them without fear of anyone dying over it.

Re:Wait for the apologists ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897814)

Riding a bicycle to work I have seen half a dozen or so people cycling along in the dark without lights, hands off the controls and talking on a phone stuck to their ear. I always abuse them loudly so even if they don't care about the havoc they could create, the person on the other end may catch on.

Get an iPhone, Blackberry, or Android (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897670)

Don't be "that guy" with the unhip phone.

maybe (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897690)

maybe we just translated the way we treat each other online into how we treat a faceless phone call.

challenge? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897696)

It's just people being selfish, or stupid. You're in a noisy room - the person you're talking to isn't. They can hear you, because isolating your voice and not your surroundings is a solved problem. You can hear them because you can turn the sound of their voice up. You shouting at them doesn't help either of you. Selfish or stupid - pick at least one.

Plausible Deniability (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897728)

The fact that I am on a cellphone means that I can NOT answer any calls and effectively screen calls without worry of "hurting someone's feelings".

I don't answer my cell phones unless I am expecting the call and/or know the caller...ever. And, because of this, all callers to my phone either leave a message or fuck off. In either case, I can call them back as I feel like it...without offending anyone around me.

But then again, I am not so reliant on the constant interaction with friends that my life will go to hell unless I talk to them NOW. Fucking pathetic.

Two words... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897746)

public restrooms

It's Never OK... (1)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897754)

It is never ok to use a cell phone:

  • on a bus
  • in any restaurant where the meal isn't served on a plastic tray
  • in the passenger compartment of a subway / train / light rail
  • in a movie theater
  • "in line" / "on queue" ANYWHERE

People who violates the above should be clubbed about the face and head with their phone.

The toilet (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897762)

'nuff said, I should hope.

And that goes for talking AND texting. After one-sided converstation, someone going clickety-clickety-clickety is the second-most disturbing sound you can hear coming out of a restroom stall.

Actually, make that the third.

It's Their Fault Not Ours (1, Informative)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897770)

social barbarism

Barbarism, or, more pointedly barbarians we so named by the ancient Greeks because the language(s) of said barbarians were thought by the Greeks to sound like "bar,bar,bar...". Barbarians and others with even understandable languages were enslaved by the Greeks because they were seen, perhaps perceived is a better word, as Other. Those not members of the tribe and therefore rightly enslaved. "Social barbarism" is a bit of an oxymoron in light of it's xenophobic origins. Norbert Elias [wikipedia.org] did a brilliant job of tracking what power elites termed civility as a means of excluding others from power and resources. Language is highly contextually bound, as are manners. Screaming into your cell to be heard over a live symphonic performance is one thing, screaming into your cell to be heard over a roaring crowd at a football match is another. Disciplining yourself to shut out fleeting annoyances is one thing, appointing yourself the watchdog of social norms is another.

A bucket of water would help (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897782)

I think every row of cubicles at my work should have a bucket of water for the storage of unattended ringing mobiles. Presumably the person at the other end assumes the owner of the phone can't hear the ring to they keep trying. First offence: I remove the back and the battery. Second offence: into the drink.

Stop the Madness! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897804)

We Dont F***ing Care!

As far as i'm concerned etiquette is a thing of the past, you know were none of us would have anything to say about anything.

What I did... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897808)

I held off getting a cell phone until 2005, when I fired the telco, transferred my number to a cell phone, and didn't look back. I have the following personal etiquette rules:

- I never talk on the phone while driving. If my phone rings while I'm driving, I ignore it.

- First come, first served. If I'm in a conversation and my phone rings, I ignore it, end of story. This has gotten me lots of weird looks at work: "Your phone's ringing, aren't you going to answer it?" "No; I was talking with you first."

- If I feel it would not be appropriate to answer my phone, I ignore it.

- If I'm not at home, the phone is set to Vibrate--or if I'm somewhere Vibrate isn't even allowed--Silent. End of story.

- I own my phone; not the other way around.

- These rules even apply if my wife is calling me, and she does the same on her end with her phone.

- If you have a true emergency and Absolutely Must Get a Hold of Me, call me over and over, and it had better fucking be important.

Rule #1, it's OK to flush them (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897816)

If the user is being and obnoxious, or stops you dead in a conversation just to answer a call it should be perfectly acceptable (both socially and legally) to take the phone and drop it in the nearest deep body of water. There may even be a defence of protecting the idiot user from harm: as the next option could be physical violence.

A second piece of ettiquette that should be adopted is if a work colleague calls you out of hours, they are tacitly giving their permission for you to call them back at any time of your choosing, including the small hours of the morning. I'd suggest around 4;30 a.m. for the return call: it's very difficult to get back to sleep when you know you'll soon have to rise, anyway. BTW, automated return calls are permissable here.

Let the old codgers die off.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30897842)

My plan is to let all the old people who are so worried about etiquette being the same as it was in 1949 die off. Then we'll be left to do whatever we want. Get off MY lawn, grandpa! In the meantime how about you just don't drive with the damn thing. Except you grandpa you can continue to drive with it as it will help the rest of my plan.

Citizens Raging Against Phones (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897854)

Lazlow: Ants, killer bees, fat people, what's plaguing you? Call now! Chatterbox, hello, you're on the air.
Caller: Err yes, I'd like to say something about these damn people on trains and buses in this city who yammer on and on into their cell phones. I'm really glad to hear about what your having for dinner! What we should do, is herd them up, and put them on an island. I am the President of a group called Citizens Raging Against Phones.
Lazlow: CRAP?!?
Caller: Exactly!
Lazlow: Your organization's called 'CRAP' ... wh-- what kind of moron are you, you wanna round people up for using a phone?!? But you-- your calling up on a phone t-- to tell the world about it! I, I mean, how many people are there in this 'CRAP'?
Caller: Citizens are raging against phones, Lazlow!!
Lazlow: How many people?
Caller: There are three of us. It's hard organizing meetings without the phones though. We've had to resort to carrier pigeons, and they keep disappearing.
Lazlow: What are you speaking to me on? What-- what's that in your hand?
Caller: I am not the problem! You are! And you're perpetuating the downfall of mankind! Liberty City was great before phones ruined everything.
Lazlow: Liberty City was a church, a cow pasture and three houses when the telephone was invented!
Caller: Liar!!
Lazlow: You're the liar!
Caller: Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Lazlow: What are... are you three years old?!?
Caller: Lazlow's a liar, Lazlow's a liar!! I bet that isn't even your real name.
Lazlow: Shut up!!
Caller: You shut up!!
Lazlow: Stupid!
Caller: Nanny nanny boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo!
Lazlow: Ohh...we're going to commercials!

Pavolvian Response (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897856)

Seriously, if your phone rings, bleeps, vibrates, whatever and you are engaged in a conversation with a live person (or people) DO NOT pull out your phone and look at it.

Whatever it is, it can wait at least 30 seconds.

In fact I had a meeting with someone in my cube not too long ago, my phone rang and I just kept talking with them. They seemed quite surprised that I gave them preference over the machine. Somehow we've all been trained to dash for the phone no matter what.

Unspoken rules are not dictated (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897908)

No one sat down and wrote "man law in the restroom" before it existed and expected everyone to follow it, the etiquette formed over time. As you can see by the other posts, cell phone etiquette is common sense and already formed. "THOSE guys" will always exist, just like that dumbass who takes the urinal next to you out of four and attempts to start conversation. No penalties are needed unless its dangerous (driving on phone), anything else is nanny-state micromanagement. What else needs to be said?

Sometimes, you just gotta get down in the gutter (5, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30897934)

While taking the bus to work, I endured about 10 minutes of non-stop, high-volume chatter about matters far too intimate for public exhibition. I finally reached my limit...couldn't concentrate to read, had forgotten my headphones, couldn't ignore the conversation (which was carried on at a near-shout). The offender was clearly a Jerry Springer fugitive, and if she wasn't a star of that People of WalMart site, her attire was such that it's only a matter of time. The faces of the other transit riders made it obvious I wasn't the only one offended by a conversation that included the woman's current sex life, how she enjoyed suckering her sister into babysitting so she could go clubbing, and some lovely racial stereotyping about her child's absentee father.

I pulled out my cell phone and began to carry on a fake conversation about the woman. I'll admit that I was pretty far over the top, but I was also seriously pissed. The other riders caught on pretty fast and started laughing. For at least a couple of minutes the woman was oblivious. Gradually, though, it sunk in...I think it was when I mentioned how lucky she was that the bus came along before that Inuit with a harpoon caught up with her.

She wound up cursing at me, but that was fine. A lot of people were laughing at her, which was exactly what I had in mind. She got off the bus pretty quickly after that. I don't know if it was her stop; I hope not.

I wouldn't recommend this course of action except under ideal circumstances, but I don't regret it.

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