July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, a time to think about how we're using cell phones and where we're using them.
Anytime technology changes, it takes a least a generation for human behavior to catch up. That's pretty much a rule of thumb. Since cell phones have been around about that long, we should be catching up - and on - how to use them.
At least we should.
But look at us. We're using cell phones while we're driving (ever notice the percentage of people who almost run into you are on their cell phones), texting while driving and texting while walking. Does anyone find it annoying when you're trying to talk to someone an that person is texting?
Maybe it's time we all started adopting the same rules of courtesy on cell phones that we did on those old-fashioned things on the wall we used to call telephones.
n Rule number one - Don't try to carry on a conversation with another person while you're talking someone on the telephone. Is it really that difficult? If you're trying to speak to someone who finds it necessary to talk to a third party at the same time, here's a suggestion. Tell the person that obviously he or she has an unfinished conversation and when that conversation is concluded, you would appreciate if the person would call you back.
n Don't use a cell phone while driving. This includes talking as well as texting. A recent traffic study showed that drivers using even hands-free devices to talk to someone on the phone had an increased likelihood of getting into a car accident as a drunk driver.
n If someone is trying to talk to you in person, don't text. It's rude and it shows that you're a rude person. And is that the sort of person you want to be?
Cell phone courtesy isn't just a matter of courtesy - as you can see, it's a matter of safety, too. So, please. Think before you talk - or text.