Have you seen this commercial? The first time I saw it, I cracked up laughing.
…”no more butt dialing. yayyy!”.
Found this article and thought it was pretty funny. I know I’m guilty of one or two of them.
‘Butt dialing’ and the nine new deadly sins of cell phone use
Thou shalt not use bad phone hygiene, take pictures at funerals or make untoward braggadocio
The new deadly sins
While the old cell phone sins still pertain, here are nine new deadly sins of mobile phone use and how to avoid committing them or becoming a victim.
1. Butt dialing
This sin is typically caused by people who don’t understand issues such as how the “dial last number called” feature can be accidentally triggered.
“It’s happened to me,” Pesci says. “It’s embarrassing.”
The recipient of a butt-dialed call typically hears background talk, the sound of clothes rustling or the contents of the purse jostling. However, there’s the potential for embarrassment if the butt-dialer happens to be talking about sensitive business or personal issues.
Avoid butt dialing by learning how to lock the keyboard of your phone.
2. Aisle clogging
This sin occurs when people are clamoring to get off an airplane and somebody stands in the aisle and is focused on making a call, checking for voice messages, looking at e-mail or sending a text message. The result: Everybody behind the person is forced to wait.
“I was on a plane and somebody insisted on immediately getting on her phone to call whoever was picking her up,” Winkler says. “‘We just landed,’ she said. ‘Now, they’ve just opened the door.’ Finally, a diplomatic man took her bag out of the overhead and handed it to her and she seemed to get the point.”
Grenny noted that variations of this sin can occur in any line, such as the line of a fast-food restaurant or a grocery checkout. “It’s absolute rudeness,” he says.
Avoid aisle clogging by making the business at hand your first priority. Once you are in the terminal or out of line, you can check your e-mail, make your calls or send text messages. It can wait that long. Really.
3. Untoward braggadocio
This often takes the form of two or more people loudly comparing their phones in public. And, as mobile devices shrink, it often takes the form of “mine is smaller than yours.” (Full disclosure: The author confesses to this particular sin.)
“It’s a guy thing,” Winkler laughs.
Grenny calls this sin “brandishing.” “You’ll see it on an airplane where one guy takes out his phone, and then his neighbor takes out his phone.”
Avoid untoward braggadocio by not doing it. Or at least doing it quietly.
4. Bad phone hygiene
There are two common manifestations of this problem. The first is lending a phone to someone and getting it back full of face-grease smudges. The second occurs when you lend your phone to somebody, who hands you it back to you and says something like, “I hope you don’t catch my cold.”
Avoid bad phone hygiene by being thoughtful and remembering that most phones have smooth surfaces that easily pick up smudges. And a little common courtesy, please, if you have a cold. Or be like Baker.
“I’m a germaphobe,” she says. “I just don’t lend my phone to others.”
5. Bad headset denial
It’s hardly a secret that it’s difficult to hear some cell phone calls. Sometimes, the problem is just a bad connection. Other times, though, a person’s headset is either poorly positioned so that it rubs against the person’s jaw, creating a lot of noise or is too far away from the mouth.
“When that happens, you get about 30% of the conversation,” Grenny says. You go, ‘Uh-huh,’ just to fake your participation in the conversation.”
The problem: Some people will deny vociferously that their headset is at fault. Avoid bad headset denial by taking the time to adjust your headset before blaming the other party for bad reception. Also, ask the person on the other end of the call whether he can hear you clearly.
6. Inappropriate headset use
One form of this sin is that some people speak loudly while using a small headset. The result is that the sinner appears to be talking to himself. The second manifestation is wearing your headset when it isn’t appropriate.
Those two issues can come together in public restrooms.
“All of a sudden, somebody says something in the bathroom and you know you’re the only other person in there,” Baker says. “It makes you wonder how important that call is if it couldn’t wait two minutes.”
“Guys will stand at a urinal and continue their conversation all the way through,” Grenny notes. “I always wonder if they’re really good friends with the person they’re talking with.”
Winkler has a simple tip to avoid this sin. “A headset is small and it’s easy to forget it’s on, but don’t wear it if you’re not talking on the phone,” she says.
7. Phone camera abuse
Because they are a potential security threat, many companies don’t allow use of cameras in their facilities and won’t buy camera phones for employees.
In public, though, camera phones turn everybody into potential paparazzi and can be a source of significant discourtesy. Grenny says that one respondent to his company’s survey on mobile phone abuse told of somebody taking a picture of the corpse at a funeral.
“People feel that if something happens in public, it’s fair game for their phone,” Grenny says. “But I’m not sure I want somebody taking a picture of my wife’s kiss at an airport when I’m leaving on a trip.”
Avoid phone camera abuse by remembering the general rule of thumb used by professional photographers: “If it’s not a public figure doing something in public, you have no right to snap photos unless you have permission,” Grenny says.
8. Crunchy calling: Eating and talking
This sin is similar to using your phone while in the bathroom in that it results in the person you are talking with hearing your body at work.
“People don’t understand that their chewing sounds are being heard so loudly,” Grenny says.
“Sometimes people ask if it’s OK to eat and talk, I’ve done that with friends,” Winkler says. “But half the time, I just hear crunching in my ear. Depending on my mood, I’ll let it go or sometimes I’ll ask, ‘Is that a potato chip you’re eating? What flavor is it?’”
Avoid eating and talking by, well, avoiding eating and talking. And if you’re the recipient of a crunchy call, let the caller politely know that you’d prefer to talk when he’s done eating.
9. Public speakerphoning
Sometimes, speaking obnoxiously loudly isn’t enough for cell phone sinners: They need you to hear both sides of the conversation, so they’ll put on their speakerphone in public. A related sin is loud, public push-to-talk sessions.
Grenny came across this sin most recently in the breakfast area of a motel. “Two guys were hunched over a phone and were yelling into it. They were having a fight with the other person about something, and they were vulgar and loud. This went on for 20 minutes, and not a single person said anything to them.”
Avoid public speakerphoning by only using the speakerphone on your cell phone when absolutely necessary, and only doing it in a private place.
Just say no
Being around others who are behaving inappropriately is always uncomfortable, but the consensus among those contacted for this article was that you have to do something.
“Public manners are shaped through public conversation,” Grenny says. “A lot of people are waiting for [cell phone] manners to catch up with other areas, and that won’t happen until people politely tell others when there’s a problem.”
The level of politeness required when confronting a cell phone miscreant is open to debate. Some think firmness is the best approach while others counsel avoiding confrontation. In any case, those who participated in this story agreed that unless loud-talkers, butt-dialers and other phone sinners are reminded of their actions, mobile phone annoyances will continue and increase.
David Haskin is a contributing editor specializing in mobile and wireless issues.