Cell phone etiquette - New York News

Cell phone etiquette

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(WJBK) -

Many of us can't resist the urge to answer that call or respond to that text, no matter who we're with or who we might offend.

"Have a little bit of consideration for the other person. Part of the problem with being on a cell phone is you get into the reality of the conversation you're having on the phone instead of what's really going on around you and it makes you impolite. It makes you rude. It makes you irritate other people," explains Joe Rock, a Cleveland Clinic psychologist.

He recommends avoiding your cell phone when you're with a group of people - even if they're close friends. He says this robs us of a chance to decompress and plays into a sense of urgency that can lead to stress and anxiety. That stress can spill into other situations and increase an overall level of emotional upset. Also, if someone is speaking during a meeting or a one-on-one conversation, it's usually not a good idea to pick up your phone to look through e-mail or respond to a text.

"I think texts are worse than calls a lot of times because there's a certain amount of urgency that's implied when you send a text. If you don't respond to a text right away people seem to think you're being rude by not doing that. You don't have to do it," Rock says.

Rock reminds us to pay attention to the situation before you reach for the phone. If you're distracted from the present moment, it could be tough to see how your behavior is impacting other people and may make interpersonal interactions more difficult. He adds that it's a good time for some of us to become cell phone role models.

Rock continues: "I mean if people see you picking up your phone on the bus and saying, 'Hey look, I'm on the bus. Can I call you back? There are a lot of people around right now.' People will go 'Hey, there's an alternative for me.' And maybe they even think 'Oh my gosh, people do that? They don't just have to answer their phone?"'

Dr. Rock advises that it's always safer to ignore your phone in the car and concentrate on the road. You can even put your phone out of reach so it's less of a temptation.

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