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Santa Monica College|Student Services|Career Services Center |Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week: Your presence is required

Etiquette instructors are usually haranguing people for rude cell phone use, but sometimes that little electronic extension of our arm is used for good.

A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant waiting for my lunch meeting to arrive. Ten minutes after the appointed time, I realized I was at the wrong restaurant. (Now I am haranguing myself. Idiot!)

But wait: handy little digital device to the rescue! I dialed up and apologized profusely. Our locations were not far apart and the person gracious, so we met. Where would we be without technology?

92 percent of us carry cell phones, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center (Americans Views on Mobile Etiquette, 8/26/15). 31 percent never turn them off.

The study says while using a phone in a group “might seem rude or inconsiderate to an outside observer,” 78 percent whip out the cell phone for “group contributing” reasons. These include getting information they thought would be interesting to the group or reaching out to someone known by the group.

Here is the distinction between good cell / bad cell:
Collaborate: good
Disengage: bad

30 percent, according to Pew, admitted using cell phones to disengage from a group.

Sometimes the ones looking up movie times for the group, sneak a peek at their messages… drifting out of their physical world and into their virtual world. Happens in business meetings, too.

Another cell etiquette breach is phone fact checking to win an argument. Especially when accompanied by an NFL-worthy, rump shaking, victory dance. Dale Carnegie’s argument for not arguing is still valid.

Use that little digital device for good. But be present with the ones who are present.

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