power use

1. Safety - Pay attention to the road.

We have growing evidence that cell phones may distract drivers and cause risks for themselves and other drivers. According to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) - "Cell Phones and Highway Safety: 2000 State Legislative Update" - "Wireless telecommunication technologies are rapidly becoming a significant concern in regard to highway safety." This report lists many states considering rules and regulations to restrict mobile phone use.

The cell savvy user never uses a mobile phone while driving unless it is "hands free." Not only are both hands free to shift and steer, there seems to be a very significant difference in the degree of attention deficit when using an ear phone. The ear phone makes it much easier to focus on driving.

The cell savvy user is also careful to limit conversations in cars to traffic areas and conditions requiring low amounts of decision-making. In high volume, tricky driving situations, the cell savvy user either turns the phone off or lets it ring.

The cell savvy user pulls over to the side to speak if the conversation is important.

The cell phone bore pays no attention to traffic conditions, drives with phone in hand and may put surrounding cars and drivers at risk. Too focussed on phoning, the cell phone bore often misses what is happening on the road nearby and makes driving moves and decisions at an impaired level. Busy chatting, the cell phone bore may run a stop sign and broadside a car. CWD (Chatting While Driving) may cause fatalities.

As the Car Talk brothers warn, "Drive Now - Talk Later." Back to Top

2. Volume - Speak softly.

The cell savvy user is careful to speak in hushed tones, knowing that a mobile phone has a sensitive microphone capable of picking up a soft voice.

The cell savvy user also sets the ring tone at a low level with a tune that is soft, gentle and not annoying.

The more crowded the situation, the quieter and softer the volume of voice and ring.

The cell savvy user moves to vibrate in any situation like a church, a workshop or a meeting where a ringing sound would prove disturbing to other people.

The cell savvy user tries to gain as little phone attention as possible. The goal is to communicate effectively without anybody else noticing or caring.

The cell phone bore speaks loudly and employs loud, obnoxious ring tones at all the wrong times and in all the wrong places. The cell phone bore calls attention to herself or himself.

Some people seem incapable of speaking on their cell phone in a normal tone of voice. Perhaps they are subconsciously worried that the party on the other end cannot hear them very well, so they double and triple their volume. Sometimes it seems as if they are shouting.

Watch the reactions of people near the cell phone bore when the voice or the ringer are too loud. The cell phone bore is not a popular person. Back to Top

3. Proximity - Keep your distance.

Each person is surrounded by a personal space. This space provides feelings of safety and calm, especially in crowded places.

When strangers come into our personal space, it can make us feel uncomfortable.

The smart cell phone user respects the personal space of other people and tries to speak in places 10-20 feet or more away from the closest person.

If there is no private, separate space available, the smart cell phone user waits to speak on the phone until a good space is available.

Sensitivity to other peoples' needs and comforts is a sign of good character.

Crowded rooms, lines and tight hallways are not good places to carry on phone conversations.

Next time you find yourself in a crowded space, watch the reactions of non mobile phone users to those who speak loudly into their phones while standing next to them.

The cell phone bore ignores the private personal space of others and seems oblivious to the discomfort caused by such behavior. Unconscious, unconcerned and unaware, the cell phone bore acts as if no one else matters. Back to Top

4. Content - Keep business private.

Many personal and business conversations contain information that should remain confidential or private. Before using a mobile phone in a public location to discuss private business or issues, the cell savvy user makes sure that there will be enough distance to keep the content private. Some stories, some issues and some conflicts should be saved for times and locations that will allow for confidentiality.

The cell phone bore does not think strategically about content and handles a full range of issues and topics in a wide variety of settings without paying much attention to the surrounding audience. This lack of discrimination can have dangerous consequences as business deals, relationships and future plans may all be endangered by leaks and loose tongues. Back to Top

5. Tone - Keep a civil and pleasant tone.

The cell savvy user knows that others might overhear a conversation, so they are careful to maintain a public voice that will not disturb others. At the same time, the cell savvy user knows that certain types of conversations may require or inspire some tough talk or emotional tones. They reserve these conversations for more private settings. They do not fire employees, chastise employees, argue with a boss or fight with a spouse or teenager on their mobile phones in public settings.

The cell phone bore will sometimes air dirty laundry in public and share emotionally intense conversations with nearby strangers. The cell phone bore will speak in loud and angry tones that often cause other people to move away if they can. Back to Top

6. Location - Pick your spot.

Some locations are better for conversations than others. They offer more privacy and less noise. By keeping the mobile phone turned off much of the time, the smart cell phone user is able to handle incoming calls under good conditions rather than struggling against interference of various kinds such as flight announcements in the hallways of an airport.

The cell savvy user learns which spots will offer the best signal and the best conditions. Rather than hold an important business discussion or negotiation under poor conditions, the cell savvy user waits for good conditions in order to make the best impression and provide a professional communication experience.

The cell phone bore is an anywhere, anytime phoner, taking and making calls in public rest rooms, during church services and riding along in the rental shuttle while squeezed alongside of others. The cell phone bore sacrifices effectiveness and professionalism for convenience and immediacy. Back to Top

7. Timing - No cell phone before it's time.

The cell savvy user thinks about when to turn the phone on or off. There are many situations where it would be rude if a phone rang, interrupting the transaction at hand.

Stepping up to a service counter, entering a restaurant or joining a meeting, the cell savvy user turn off the phone and relies upon voice mail to take incoming calls.

There may be sometimes when a particular incoming call or message requires an exception, but the vast majority of callers do not require immediate access.

The cell phone bore leaves the phone on all the time in all places regardless of the situation. The cell phone bore answers the phone no matter what else is happening and expects others to sit and wait while they chat with the caller. Back to Top

8. Multi-Tasking - One thing at a time.

Some folks are better at juggling many tasks at the same time than others, but there are some things in life that deserve your full attention. The busy person multi-tasking at a desk can be a wonderful model of efficiency, handling, phone, keyboard, coffee cup and remote control all at the same time, but at other times, multi-tasking can be hazardous, rude and inefficient.

The cell savvy user reserves multi-tasking for situations and times when it is safe, convenient and appropriate. Approaching a counter to work through a problem with an airline ticket, the cell savvy user turns off the phone or its ringer to protect the coming transaction from interruption. One thing at a time. Focus. Efficiency. Manners.

The cell savvy user often stops other activities such as typing when a call comes through in order to give the caller, full attention. Free of distraction, the cell savvy user makes the most of the call.

The cell phone bore often juggles multiple tasks at the wrong times in the wrong places and often drops a ball or makes someone else angry.

Stepping to the counter to work out a problem with a ticket, the cell phone bore takes an incoming call right in the middle of the transaction and holds up the employee as well as all the other customers lined up waiting for service. Oblivious to the inconvenience and inefficiency caused, the cell phone bore allows a mobile phone to interfere with the performance of the employee and the needs of the other customers. The cell phone bore puts personal wishes ahead of civility.

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