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We all know the situation: being subjected to one side of someone else’s conversation while in a public space. Or, even worse, the phone is on speaker mode, with the volume turned up very loudly, and it’s possible to hear everything!

As it turns out, speaking on a cell phone makes some people tend to forget their manners. But National Cell Phone Courtesy Month is here to act as a friendly reminder for folks to create new – and more attentive – habits when they need to talk on the phone in public spaces. And since the month of July has a whole 31 days, that should be plenty of time to create a new habit!

History of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

National Cell Phone Courtesy Month can trace its beginnings back to 2002, when the day was founded by Jacqueline Whitmore, who is a manners expert from Palm Beach, Florida. In fact, just four years earlier, Whitmore had founded her own etiquette school and she was beginning to include some of the issues related to cell phone use in her curriculum.

Back in the early 2000s, mobile phones were just beginning to become a regular occurrence for people but, even up until the mid-late 1990s, they were often relegated to use inside of vehicles. But in the dawn of the new millennium, the number of cell phones appearing in public began to grow exponentially.

The problem was that folks had never really been taught etiquette of what was expected and how to use them courteously. Of course, this was during the time of talking, before texting really caught on and certainly before smart phones allowed for all sorts of other uses for the phone.

National Cell Phone Courtesy Month was established to help educate people on how to be aware of their surroundings and adjust their conversations with this in mind!

How to Celebrate National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Observing National Cell Phone Courtesy Month comes with a wide array of ways to celebrate! Get started with some of these ideas:

Establish a Cell Phone Free Zone

At work, at school and even at home, it might be a good idea to make the world a slightly better place by building boundaries around where cell phones may be used during National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. This allows people to be much more present in the place where they are, and encourages better cell phone manners.

Get family members, coworkers or colleagues on board with the idea by hosting a conversation about the topic and coming up with ideas to create cell-free spaces. Perhaps they’ll want to continue the project even after the month is over!

Learn Some Statistics About Cell Phone Usage

Different people have different ideas about where, when and how cell phone usage is appropriate. Consider some of these statistics that have come from various surveys regarding cell phone use:

  • As of 2022, 85% of adults in the United States own a smartphone and there are more than 6.5 billion smartphone users all over the world.

  • On average, an American will check their cell phone more than 300 times per day!

  • Up to 47% of Americans would say that they are “addicted” to their cell phones and 74% feel uneasy if they leave their cell phone at home.

Apply Some Cell Phone Courtesy Tips

Celebrate National Cell Phone Courtesy Month by following these tips for cell phone etiquette:

  • When you are in a meeting, don’t check your phone constantly for texts and emails. Concentrate on the people you are with.
  • Set your cell phone to silent or vibrate when in a courtroom, theater, or place of worship.
  • Don’t embarrass yourself; if you need to make a call which you know is going to get intense and emotional, save it for when you are somewhere private. The rest of the world doesn’t need to know about your relationship issues!
  • Finally, check your personal volume control. It’s all too easy to start yelling into your cell phone. Everyone in your vicinity will appreciate your good manners in avoiding “cell yell”!

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