We've all seen those obnoxious people talking on their cell phone on the bus or in the movies. We find ourselves asking why these people want the whole world to know their personal information, not realizing that sometimes we are also the culprits of the offensive behavior. So stop embarrassing yourself and turn the phone off - or at least lower your voice in public.


On A Date
1. The whole point of a date is to spend time with the other person. The ringing of a cell phone can detract from the mood, and tells the other person that you're not serious about being out with them.

2. If you must carry your phone with you, then make it less intrusive by using the silent or vibration modes. Just be sure not to mistake the vibrating sensation from the phone for some kind of subliminal message from your date.

3. Avoid potentially embarrassing calls from former lovers by using caller ID to check the number before you answer.

4. Do not make calls while on your date. If you must make a call, say it up front at the beginning of the date. When it is time to make the call, don't leave your date. Make the call with him/her around. This reassures them that you aren't just setting up another date for later, or checking in with your significant other.


On The Job
1. If at work, keep your cell phone on vibrate or silent. Do not allow it to ring. Cell phone calls are distracting to your coworkers and may be taken as a sign of non-productivity by your boss.

2. If you have to make a business call after hours, ensure that you have a quiet place to do so. Inappropriate background noise interferes with communication and reflects poorly on you as a professional.

3. A bad connection makes a bad impression. Static or dropped signals create frustration and miscommunication. Reschedule the call for a time where you can dedicate your attention to the person on the other end without interference.

Public Places
1. Don't yell. Cell phones are designed for speech at normal levels. If there is not interference or background noise, the person on the other end can hear you just fine.

2. Respect the personal space of those around you. Most people don't intentionally eavesdrop, but if you are in close confines, it may be difficult for them not to. Be merciful -- save the description of your lacy underwear for another time.

3. Private conversations should be kept private.

4. Don't have stressful conversations in public. No one wants to hear you yell at your kids, or threaten your spouse, or scream at your best friend.

5. Don't keep others waiting. If you are on line, chances are you will become distracted with the call and will hold up service for those behind you.

Tomorrow: Dating etiquette