Director The Learning Architect
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Mind your mobile manners

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20th Aug 2012
Director The Learning Architect
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Workplace wellness expert Liggy Webb doesn't get annoyed too easily, but when it come to mobile phones, well...
I feel the time has come that I really need to say something about mobile phones. They are one of the wonders of modern living and for many people it would be difficult to imagine a life without one. They have become the most common artificial appendage and whilst there are a multitude of obvious benefits to them, there is also a whole raft of pitfalls.
Mobile phone capabilities seem endless. Whilst making calls is the primary function, you can surf the internet, take photos, record videos, download entire libraries of information and navigate your way around the world with Google Earth. With apps galore we are just waiting for the next amazing function.
Phones however, can cause accidents, be a source of immense irritation and have a detrimental effect on interpersonal communication. So often now if a mobile phone bleats, the owner will bow to its beck and call. How many times when you are with someone do you feel marginalised by their technological gadgets?
I decided to spend some time wandering around focusing on observing mobile etiquette. Two things that struck me was how many people walk around texting, not really noticing anything around them and how many people sit in coffee shops, bars and restaurants with their mobile phone on the table next to them. I am sure someone soon will invent a mobile high chair such is the credence bestowed upon these pet gadgets.
I think it would be great if every mobile phone came with a little book of mobile manners that everyone adhered to.
So, I have decided to compile my own list and share it with you:  
 

Mobile Manners

  • Do make the person you are with feel more important than your mobile phone. Be present when you are with people. Switch your phone to silent, or better still, switch it off and put it away
  • Be mindful about not developing a dependency on constant communication. It simply is not healthy. Do you really need to have your phone with you all the time?
  • To avoid accidents and bashing into other people, it is better not to walk along texting
  • Take off your earpiece when you are not on the phone. This will stop you from looking silly. Plus, who wants to talk to someone who is so obviously on call alert?
  • You don't need to speak louder into your mobile than any other phone you use, especially on the train. These gadgets have incredibly sensitive microphones
  • Answer your phone as soon as it goes off. Not everyone wants to listen to a mobile phone ringing for ages, even if your latest ring tone sounds 'cool and groovy' to you
  • Be aware that people around you are listening if you answer your phone in public. Not everyone wants to hear what you are saying to someone else and could find it offensive, embarrassing or just plain boring
  • Absolutely under no circumstances use your mobile phone when you are driving. Let's face it some people have a problems mastering vehicles and phones individually let alone trying to multitask the two together. This is a recipe for disaster
  • The ultimate display of good manners has to be not using your mobile phone on the loo. Need I say more?
"Apparently we love our own mobile phones but we hate everyone else's" - Joe Bob Bridges
Liggy Webb is widely respected as a leading expert in the field of modern life skills and workplace wellness. She is the founding director of The Learning Architect a consortium of niche industry experts. For more info visit www.liggywebb.com and www.thelearningarchitect.com. For access to more toolkits and information you can email Liggy here

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