Mobile etiquette is a necessary courtesy

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    Thanks to the lack of cell phone etiquette, we now all know what you did last night, who you don’t care for and just how unsafe your driving skills are.

    As much as one person may care for another, no one enjoys the obnoxious lack of mobile courtesy.

    According to a Feb. 25 Reuters article, a new study by Intel revealed that 91 percent of U.S. adults said they’ve seen technology misused, and 75 percent think mobile manners have decreased over the past year.

    Is it any wonder people think this way when Facebook, texting, Twitter, and a variety of other apps are available at people’s fingertips?

    Mobile etiquette is underdeveloped in our society, especially with the younger generations.

    First, there are basic courtesies that we should all follow, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best with these. In the poll, 20 percent admitted they misused their mobile devices themselves.

    Places such as elevators, libraries, museums, waiting rooms, enclosed public spaces, theatres and places of worship should have no cell phone activity whatsoever. While some of the places mentioned are purely out of respect for those surrounding us, cell phone etiquette is important for one’s safety.

    Twenty-five percent of those polled by Intel said they’ve seen people use their laptops while driving. This is outrageous. How could someone possibly practice safe driving skills and work a laptop at the same time?

    If someone is traveling on the highway at a speed of 60 mph, they’re going 88 feet per second. That means if they were to look at their phone for 5 seconds to read even a text message, they would be travel 440 feet before their eyes returned to the road.

    That is plenty of time and distance for an animal to come out on the road, for something to fly out of a truck bed or for an accident to occur. Drivers would not have enough time to react because of their inappropriate cell phone use.

    We are addicted to our phones 8212; plain and simple. One in five admits to checking their phones before they get out of bed in the morning.

    To keep a healthy check on this addiction, there are some basic questions and rules that should be asked before answering that text or phone call.

    First, will the conversation be an emotional one? If so, don’t answer it. While one should be able to speak freely, it’s never a good idea to air grievances with others present. This applies to text messages as well because it is disrespectful to ignore someone who is physically present for someone who’s only electronically present.

    Next, don’t multi-task while on the phone. Even if it isn’t an emotional conversation, it’s proven that one’s reaction time while texting is slowed to levels of someone who is legally drunk, according to Car and Driver magazine. One may not notice it, but someone may be held up because of one’s inability to put down the phone. Time is precious to everyone.

    Finally, even if a phone is on vibrate, it’s still audible. If you’re in a place that one shouldn’t be on the phone, like class, put it on silent. This will save all from the embarrassment of being called out or from that obnoxious ringtone.

    Overall, mobile etiquette is necessary for more than just respect. It’s important for safety and the well-being of all involved. We’ve come so far with technology, and now is not the time to be acting primitive.

    Bailey McGowan is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Burkburnett.