Newsflash: We Have Poor Cell Phone Etiquette

Here’s a shocker: People who responded to an Intel survey said our mobile device etiquette is getting worse. The top three pet peeves are:

  1. using mobile devices while driving (73 percent)
  2. talking on a device loudly in public places (65 percent)
  3. using a mobile device while walking on the street (28 percent)*

Not too surprising. Neither is a line in the report that said 92 percent of the adults surveyed wish people practiced better mobile manners in public, but only 19 percent admitted to their own poor etiquette.

Confession: Sometimes I’m a mobile “slob.” In fact, while I really like my Samsung Epic smartphone, I have noticed my own Pavlovian response each time it buzzes. (And sometimes even when it doesn’t.) It kind of frightens me to consider how dependent I’ve become on a small device that contains my contact lists, Twitter and Facebook feeds, applications, news, camera, entertainment, and more.

So I try to set boundaries. (Or more accurately, my husband, Brent, tries to set boundaries.) Like keeping my phone in my purse when I go out to eat. And no texting while driving. I also try to enforce a put-it-away policy for youth and myself during confirmation large group time at church.

But I’ve been guilty of passenger seat phone calls with family members while Brent drives to the grocery store. And checking emails or Facebook updates at workshops. And many worse offenses, I’m sure.

What about you? How frequently do you check your mobile device(s)? What “public displays of technology” do you conduct? Do you have any boundaries on your personal tech-etiquette? What about expectations for others around you?

*While I also find walking under the influence of technology annoying, watching someone fall into a mall fountain because of mobile-induced blinders is kind of funny!

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