Cell Phone and Computer Etiquette

This comes up a lot for couples in the therapy session. It also comes up with adults in individual when they talk about their partners. I was pretty shocked about this because I would never even consider a relationship with a man who did not observe the rules below.  It is a sure sign that the person is more caught up in them self than you or anyone else.  As a result, I felt it was time someone came up with a list of rules for behavior on these modern technological advances because it is ruining relationships! For some of us who remember what a telephone was/is, this is just a simple common sense reminder.

1. Restaurants – This is a place to eat. It is a place to get to know the person/people you are with. If you go to really nice sophisticated rooms it is a place to savor gourmet delights. If you are alone you can people watch or quietly read a book. The digestion will get very upset if you do not take your time to chew, swallow and finish your meal slowly. Using a cell phone here – NO – very rude and disrespectful. Will cause indigestion and people you are with to leave. Will cause people around you to upset their stomachs as well. Texting and Laptops, only if you are alone on a business trip.

2. Automobiles (and other forms of transportation) – These are for driving.  You have to get a license to sit in one, on the driver’s side, when you are moving the vehicle. It is important to note you are not the only one that will be driving in the world today and so you must pay careful attention to staying in your lane, people swerving over, someone putting on their brakes, emergency vehicles, police cars, stop lights, stop signs, and other traffic signs. Using a cell phone here – Caution – best to only do so if you have hands free phones. Texting – NO – Not unless you want to die or kill someone else. I’d prefer to live a little longer, even if you don’t. Using a laptop – NOOOOO – See previous sentence on texting.

3. Airplanes – Only when the captain says so!

4. Times to call – Observe the 9-9 rule.  No calls before 9 am (unless you are a stockbroker or overseas on business calling home) and no calls after 9 pm. The 9-9 rule is only broken when there is an emergency. That is how we once knew someone had an emergency. If you are in a relationship and it is after 9, why not just come over? If you absolutely can’t, make it romantic not an argument. This same rule goes for texting and computers as well. The longer you stay on the computer at night, the harder it will be to get to sleep. Of course if you are a writer, this rule doesn’t apply for computers.

5. Bed (Couples)- This is a sacred place for couples and a room for renewing your energy for the next day. Try not to enter this door unless you are ready for romance or slumber (or of course clothes changing and hygiene). A bed is not the place to be on a cell phone unless you are in a hotel on business calling home or your colleagues for the evening’s itinerary. Laptops are a NO NO, especially not for chatting with your lover while your spouse is right there.  Tacky! Leave them if you really must do this – or wait until they are gone but right there with them in bed next to you? Really?? Sexting? Cell Phones? Wasn’t there a clause in your vows about respect? If unmarried, keep this in mind – there are thoughts about respect taken into consideration when it comes to cohabitation. If both of you are in bed with a laptop, time to contact a therapist. Sounds like boredom at home.

6. House – Go into your office if you must make a cell phone call. Why do you need to walk around the house? Does your spouse/partner/kids really need to know the intimate details of your business transaction? Laptops – if you are sitting there with spouse/partner and/or family watching a movie, don’t multi-task.  Remember these are your responsibilities sitting around you and they need your attention. Or would you rather they weren’t here and you were all alone in an empty apartment at the end of the divorce/break-up? After you found out about the affair (the person who was paying more attention to your family than you were).

7. In Public – This is not a business office, so you are already clued in on what I am going to say. No one needs to know your intimate details about your relationship or business transactions. No one really cares how much money you have in your bank account Or how much you are paying for an item (very low-class). The person can leave a message and you can get back to them when you get to your office or home. Unless they are on the way to meet you or you are trying to find directions but in this case, limit the call to a couple of minutes. Groceries/Hardware store – make a list before you go. Limit this call to a couple of minutes. Don’t ever get on the phone while in a check-out line. Respect the others in the line and the cashier.

8. Phone in Ear – Are you trying out for a role on Star Trek? If not, it makes sense in a car (hands free) but elsewhere it looks ridiculous. Someone walking down the street talking and there is nothing in their hands, this looks a bit schizophrenic. Again, there are other people in the world besides you. If the phone rings, it does not need to be answered. There is such a thing as voice mail. Walking alone? Enjoy the scenery.  Enjoy life. Stop and smell the roses.

9. Children – 9-9 rule for sure. Take electronics away when it is time for them to go to bed. Don’t allow them at school. Kids did just fine at school prior to cell phones and they will do fine now. Worried about them walking home – pick them up. Have them walk with groups or pairs. They really need to be at school paying attention to class. Why exactly do kids need cell phones again? What is happening to kids thanks to modern technology is that they are unable to socialize without computers. Thus they have a hard time connecting to others and have no standards because the world is at their beck and call.

10. Bathroom – Really? Does it help you to dispose of waste material? Does the person on the other end really need to know your business? Double entendre intended.

When the telephone was invented, the purpose was that it could be used for communication. It was intended for emergencies.  For ordering supplies from the store. For calling your loved ones whom you had to move away from for a job.  The cell phone is useful for emergencies, directions, chatting, business, etc… but should not become a way of life. Or an excuse for not living your life.

The computer has reduced jobs, forced people to have to learn new skills, and has made it necessary for everyone to have a website for just about anything they want to sell. It has become an excuse for not living life to the fullest.  It is ruining relationships as it is making it possible for people to have anything they want at their fingertips. So many people are becoming voyeurs and/or indulging in sexual activities that would never have been available to them before. It is another excuse for a bad marriage to fall apart.

Texting has reduced communication in person. It has made people impatient. This has been one more way for batterers to manipulate and obsess over their partners. Who are you obsessed with? How many times do you  need to make a call if they don’t pick up? One – to leave a voicemail.

Once we had women who actually set rules for us. The Ms. Etiquette’s of the times. It helped society know what was acceptable and what was not. We need rules to learn how to respect others. To take us out of ourselves for a moment (out of ego) and live consciously in the world.


One thought on “Cell Phone and Computer Etiquette

  1. I appreciate your opinion on this topic but I cannot and do not agree with you on all points. I am single and talk on the phone in bed, frankly I like to be comfortable when I am having long talks with my friends. I often make calls while I am in public with a bluetooth device. I do apologize if this makes other think I am crazy but it always me to talk to my mother and friends while getting errands done. And yeah I have talked to my close close friends while in the bathroom. Hey sometimes the timing just doesn’t work, and you have to be pretty open and close with the person you do that with, its not for everyone. Those are my thought. Have a wonderful day.

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