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Avoid being a cellular disaster

Cell phone etiquettes are a must, so that other's senses doesn't get assaulted, writes Sujata B Shakeel.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2006 11:50 IST
Sujata B Shakeel
Sujata B Shakeel

There are numerous times in the day when I long for a life uncluttered, easy and free of that ubiquitous ring of the cell phone. It is an aural assault most of us would like to do without, but ironically cannot.

I admit that cell phones have come to be an integral part of our lives, even if we often feel hounded and tracked. We may hate it or love it but we just can’t do without it. Being without one’s cell phone is like being marooned, abandoned and totally helpless.

If there are reasons to prove why your cell is a mate, then there are numerous others on why life was so much simpler without this wonder contraption. Indispensible it may be, but it is also an intrusion.

The one thing I have not been able to adjust to and accept is this obnoxious phone culture the cell phone has spawned. A culture that seems to be, ‘self-absorbed and self-centered’, and the sensitivities of others around be damned. Cell-phone etiquette is just ‘basic courtesy’.

But you will be amazed to know how even this basic courtesy is violated in varying degrees. You can see it in the loud ring tones, people yakking loudly in public places, and subjecting unsuspecting fellow beings to a no-holds-barred brief on their private lives.

People driving and talking on the phone, endangering lives. Phones ringing in the concert and movie halls and the person actually taking the call and instructing the maid to “change baba’s nappies, feed him and take him to the park”! (this actually resulted in loud hoots and jeers from the rest of assembled gathering).

And worse, Kajrare Kajrare going off in the middle of a sermon at a Sunday church service with the pastor admonishing the people to “switch off from worldly inducements and devote just two hours to the Almighty.
He deserves at least two hours of our life…,” he added for good measure!

So what constitutes good cell-phone etiquette? Here’s a list:
*Avoid annoying ring tones that destroy concentration and assault the senses.

*Always keep your phone ringer as low as possible. Better still put it on vibrate mode to avoid distracting people around you. If you must take the call in the midst of something important, excuse yourself.

*Never talk in libraries, elevators, museums, restaurants, auditoriums, theatre, places of worship and cemeteries, just switch off your phone.

*Keep your call brief, be polite and avoid being loud. Discussing private matters when in a public place is a strict no-no.

*Last, but not the least do not drive and talk on the phone. As kids you may not be driving yet, but you can always caution your elders!

First Published: Aug 30, 2006 11:50 IST