I can accept the fact that chivalry is dead and all that goes along with it, but what I can’t accept is the obvious truth that some people need to learn cell phone etiquette. Pretty much everyone has a cell phone, and cell phone manners weren’t taught when we were children, so many need a crash course.
From theatres, to dinners, to parties, to concerts, to class, there are many different manners of etiquette that are appropriate for specific places.
Our first lesson is in theatre etiquette. We are all guilty of leaving our phones on during a movie; despite the fact the theatre so kindly plays the 30-second clip reminding us to turn them off.
Every phone today has a silent function and it should be used when in a theatre so you do not interrupt the movie for those around you. We go to movies to escape our daily lives and a ringing cell phone quickly shatters that imaginary world for everyone in the theater. How many of us are so important we can’t go two hours without being reached?
I know I’m not that important, and if you are that important, maybe you should just stay at home and take all your calls. Another fantasy shattering sound is the not-so-silent buzz created by a vibrating cell phone.
The vibration function should not be used when in the movie theatre because it is not quiet, nor is it distinguishable, so no one knows if it is his or her phone or someone else who is disrupting the public.
Text messages are the fad these days and it seems everyone is doing it. These are the least bothersome type of communication during a movie, but a bright light in the middle of a dark theater often causes others to look.
If you must communicate with someone while in a movie, a text message is the least annoying, but it is recommended that you forfeit communication for a few hours and enjoy the movie. Those people will still be there when you get out of the movie.
Our second lesson is in dinner etiquette. This is a touchy area and should be viewed with caution because there are many different types of dinner.
If you are dining at Pfeiffer on a fine evening and someone calls your cell phone, I highly doubt it will bother anyone at your table if you answer and briefly chat. If, however, you happen to be on a date with that special someone and your cell phone rings, it could cause trouble.
When on a date, you want to give all your attention to the other person, or else why go on a date with them? Different people respond differently to a ringing cell phone, therefore it is wise to know the person you are dining with so you do not upset them.
If you happen to be at a formal dinner it is smart to leave the phone on silent again, unless you are very important. Most of the time in college, formal dinning is restricted to few people, so a silent cell phone should be the norm at this age.
Our third and final lesson is on class etiquette. Most of our friends know when we are in class, but sometimes they just forget and happen to call while in class. I, again, advise the silent function on the phone, though in this case it isn’t a serious offense.
Most professors will simply ignore a ringing or buzzing phone, but others will demand to answer it and inform the caller you are in class. The first option isn’t very embarrassing because everyone’s phone has done it at some point or another.
The second option isn’t too bad either because, my guess is, most people know you are a college student; therefore you being in class won’t be a huge shock to whoever is calling at the time. Of all scenarios, this seems to have the least serious consequences.
Just remember, there was a time when no one had a cell phone, except Zack Morris on “Saved by the Bell.” We couldn’t be reached at any point during the day, no matter where we were, and our parents couldn’t interrupt anything we did by calling us.
Sometimes, I think we had it made back then and now we are simply being hassled all the time.