July is National Cell Phone Month. Can you imagine conducting business without your cell phone?  Actually, can you imagine doing almost anything without your cell phone?

While we’re honoring and being grateful to our cell phones during this month, let’s also think about why, how and when we use them and perhaps be a bit more courteous in that usage.  After all, it’s not always about texting, emailing and calling people no matter what we’re doing, where we are and whom we’re with, is it?

  1. If you use your cell phone in your car, and who doesn’t?, make sure that you check state laws for hands free usage.  Also make sure you have the appropriate safety gear for your phone and car with you in your car to be safe.
  2. Keep your phone out of sight during a work/lunch appointment.  When you have your phone on the table while you’re with a client/colleague, you’re letting them know that your phone is more important than they are.
  3. Silence your phone during a work/lunch appointment.  Now that your phone is “out of sight,” it’s still more than distracting and/or rude to the person with whom you’re meeting to hear than phone from your handbag, pocket, briefcase.  If you can’t turn it off, turn it to silent/vibrate.
  4. There are exceptions to the “out of sight” and “silence” suggestions, however. If your baby sitter or broker is calling, by all means.  If you’re getting directions, by all means. Some things are urgent, but most are not, so use discernment.
  5. Excuse yourself to another room, if possible, when you’re getting a call from anyone in the category of #4 above.
  6. Consider the content of you phone conversations.  Remember that you’re working so no profanity.  Also remember that once you send a text, post, tweet, etc., it is “live.”  Your spontaneous communication with one person has the possibility of being shared with lots of people.  Cell phone communications can be contagious
  7. Think about the 10 foot rule when talking on your cell…10 feet away from a building, window or when you’re inside a medical office, hospital, library, theater, etc.  Also try to keep your voice down.
  8. There is a safety risk to talking while you’re driving.  We all do it but…and, absolutely, no texting while driving.
  9. There is such a thing as a cellular crutch when you’re uncomfortable or don’t know what to do in an unfamiliar situation.  Engage with a person, not the phone.

By the way, the iPhone just turned 10 years old.  More than one billion iPhones have been sold, more than any other product…ever.  Think about it.