I remember being taught at a very young age how to behave on the phone. Way, way, way back then before cell phones, I was taught answer the phone with a simple "hello" and then listen to what the caller had to say. Then I'd say things like "just a moment, " "can you please hang on," and then end the conversation with a "goodbye." There were established rules that I wasn't allowed to say I was home alone, and there were definitely times during the day that were more appropriate than others to have a phone conversation. Oh my, have things have changed! Smart phones are everywhere now. Everyone has them--even kids! I would have loved to have had my own phone growing up. And a T.V. But that's another post entirely. I wonder...has phone etiquette gone out the window with the advent of technology? Maybe just a bit. How can we get back to being more personal through our devices? Here are 10 easy rules to bring back phone etiquette and become more personal. 1. Respect the Living: Be present in real life, face-to-face conversations. Texting while having a personal conversation is rude and it tells the other person they don't matter as much as the text. Be considerate. Be present.
2. Never call or text while driving: I think we've all seen the PSA about texting while driving. A text or call can wait until the car is pulled over. Its just not worth the risk.
3. Keep phone conversations private: No one wants to listen to the latest drama in the grocery store or hear a business deal in a movie theater. If the call has to be taken, excuse yourself and leave the area.
4. Answer a text in a timely manner: If you can't answer back, don't forget to! Let the person know you'll respond to them and do so.
5. Use spell check: The excuse of, "Sorry, I have big thumbs" is just a sorry excuse. We have spell check, so slow down while typing and use it!
6. Keep your messages short: If leaving a voicemail message, just leave necessary information and keep it simple.
7. Don't leave someone on hold: If you say, "Hold on for a second," keep it just as that. Our time is precious and we're all busy.
8. It's okay to unplug: Be present in life, and live away from social media or texting. It's okay to get bored once in awhile, it gives us time to think about our day, make plans, or maybe even read a book (remember those?).
9. Enjoy your own music, but keep it turned down and to yourself. One of the rudest things to do is play music in a public place for all to hear.
10. Only document things worth documenting--we over share EVERYTHING. Its okay to enjoy a meal without taking a picture, or to play with kids without the video camera, or think you look pretty good without taking a selfie. Using good phone manners is just common courtesy. Its time to get back to basics and display some manners, and hopefully, teach the next generation the same.
Heather Bowcutt is the content writer for KidsEmail. Raising 4 kids alongside her husband, she is concerned about the online safety of her kids and strives for their online freedom, while also protecting their online reputation.