Dear Helen Hartman,
Love my new iPhone. Well, I love the apps and fun things I can do with it – most of which have nothing to do with using the phone part. Well, okay I love those things for myself. I am sick of everyone else loving their phones so much! I am NOT loving that I can’t get through a social interaction with any real interaction anymore. Not loving that every new innovation brings new behavior that has more to do with personal expectations and less and less to do with etiquette! Help me love my phone more but helping others learn to act better with their phones!
Dear Love-the-Phone-but-not-the-Phoner One,
On one hand Helen DOES enjoy telling people how to behave! On the other hand, Helen has been guilty of some pretty bad phone manners herself.
|Paying a child to hold the phone and say 'uh-huh', 'uh-huh' when my tacky neighbor Teresa calls to complain about the goings on at Helen's house is bad, right?|
On the OTHER hand
|Yes, Helen has ANOTHER hand, there is always someone standing by to provide one for her, whether they want to or not. Keep up the good work extra hands lady and one day you want get to be in color too. As long as you don't clash with HELEN!|
On the other hand Helen’s other job is in customer service so she has a LOT to say about phone manners so let’s go! First, the whole reason for a phone to exist is COMMUNICATION. It is NOT your personal world controlling device.
|What? You mean Angry Birds doesn't give me dominion over those danged pigs? It was step one in my plan of ruling the whole animal kingdom.|
That means – when you call a number and get the voice mail message – LEAVE A MESSAGE!
|"Hmmm, I just met him. I am clearly crazy. It went to voice mail. Should I tell him I'm stalking him, maybe?" Is THIS a message you would want to miss?|
Don’t assume the other person will simply see your number and call you in return to find out what you want. I know this is what many people do anyway, but that’s not communication, that’s like some evil genius pressing a button and expecting others to be at his/her beck and call.
|"Yeah, sure, I get that, Mavis but I'm telling you I KNOW her. Genius is not word I would use... I mean evil is not a word I would use to describe her. At least not to her face."|
On the receiving end of that message – if someone is polite enough to leave a message PLEASE LISTEN TO IT. Don’t just call back the number and ask what they want.
|Listen carefully, Norm, they are about to put a tap on the phone. Do not call today unless you want the authorities to know about you know what.|
When I was a kid we never would have even imagined having the TV on during a meal so we did not have a no TV at the table. At my house we did have a NO SINGING at the table rule.
|Yes, that rule was established specifically for Helen. They were always trying to cramp my style.|
Helen has heard that many households have now established a NO PHONES at the table rule.
And don’t get me started on the whole phones as cameras and the etiquette of that!
|Next time you decide to record every second of real life going on around you so you can share it online to show people how fun life around you (that you are not actually participating in) is, stop and ask yourself - HUH?|
In the end, phone etiquette is the same as any etiquette. Meaning: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! So next time that you're tempted to do something rude... oh, sorry, I'm getting another call, Gotta take that...