Cell phones have swept the global landscape by storm. There are nearly 7 billion people in the world with 6 billion of them owning a cell phone, 3.8 billion owning a toothbrush and 4.8 billion with access to clean toilets. Yet with this sudden explosion and focus on cellphones, society hasn’t had a chance to set social expectations for these devices.
Today, it’s an ‘anything goes’ attitude which is leading to many social problems prevalent amongst both children and adults. Today it’s a case of our social skills, caring nature and awareness for those around us is eroding. It seems without the proper guidance, we may turn into a disparate group of cellphone zombies with little sight further than the screen in front of us.
With this worrying image in the back of our minds and our driving need to improve individuals’ social skills and first impressions, we have discovered the 10 Cellphone Commandments to lead humanity back to the right path of social redemption.
1. No cell phone should ever be placed on the dining room table. In fact, no possessions should be placed on the table.
2. Do not light up your phone screen when in conversation with someone. This indicates to that person that they are boring you and that your phone is more important.
3. Cell phones should not be on display at any event. If you need to take a call or message someone, excuse yourself and go outside.
4. Children should not be given a cell phone as a toy. Research is showing how children and teens are struggling to socialize confidently as 90% of their communication happens over social media and other media channels. Children should be given toys, dress up clothes and activities that require them to use their imagination.
5. Do not take a call when in mid-conversation with someone unless it is urgent. This is the height of rudeness. If the call must be taken, apologize and ask the person if it is okay for you to take the call.
6. Inform the person if you place them on loudspeaker. This can save you and them from embarrassment or divulging confidential information.
7. Ensure a 3m distance between you and another person when talking on the phone. We speak 3 times louder on a phone, beware of the people around you. If you are in a restaurant, leave the room to continue your conversation.
8. Avoid having conversations over SMS and rather call the person. The time used to complete the conversation is far quicker and social when calling someone.
9. Turn your phone off or on to silent when attending the theatre, a meeting or the cinema. The height of rudeness is taking a call or smsing in such situations.
10. Do not drive and dial. Many accidents are caused daily due to people’s diverted attention. Studies show that 14% of all reported crashes are caused by cellphone use whilst driving.
May you implement these rules with your families, your friends, your colleagues, employees and anyone that surrounds you.
The responsibility is ours to ensure that we create a society that looks up, looks ahead and that cares for the neighbor to our left and right. What point is it to try and create a beautiful world when all we do is look down at the distraction of our cell phone- a mimicry of reality.