I've been wanting to write this one for a while. It's some practical advice on how to use a cell phone without causing me to want to kill you. Try it at home...
- Don't Answer it - It is almost always wrong / rude / punishable by death to answer a cell phone in front of someone else. That's what voicemail is for. The only exceptions are immediate family or someone who is trying to meet up with you. Significant others are not ok. You spend enough time yapping with them all day.
- For the love of christ, don't make a call! Making a call is even worse. The only reason to make a call is if you're with a friend and a third friend is meeting with you. That's about it. When you make a call, it is actively demonstrating that you are not at all interested in the company of your current entourage.
- Fines are doubled in the car. You can't even answer immediate family there. Worse than ignoring your company is making them listen to you gab about something no one cares about.
- A few text messages are ok. If you text in front of me, I don't really care. It's not obtrusive. If you're having an IM style conversation, go jump off a cliff. It's annoying. I'd say the max acceptible is 3 texts per hour.
- Do NOT ever wear a stupid bluetooth thing unless you're talking to someone. Even then, you probably shouldn't wear it. You look like a huge cyborg idiot. I have one, and I use it if I want to talk in bed, or if I'm wrestling a cougar and need my hands free. Emoting in the air while talking on a cell phone isn't good enough reason to need those hands free.
- If you put someone on speakerphone, let them know if there are other people listening. There's a curb your enthusiasm episode about this.
- Ringtones. If your phone sounds like fifty cent stuck in a soup can, change it. Put that crap on vibrate. I don't see why anyone needs a ringtone. I don't EVER need to know when you're getting a call. Actually, girls with purses can have a ringtone. Don't make it an obnoxious one.
- Last, and probably most important - LEAVE ONE MESSAGE. If you're in my call log, that doesn't mean you're getting a call back. I assume that people who didn't leave messages needed me then, and only then. A "Hey, I'm heading to lunch, want to come?" kind of call.
If you leave a message, I will probably call you back. Leaving additional messages sharply decreases the chance of a callback. If I wake up and you've left 3 messages and two texts asking me to call, that's probably grounds for a 24 hour no call period. I don't want to spend 10 minutes going through your messages.
This stuff is important. Seriously.