10 Cell Phone Rules to Help Save Civilization

After hundreds (if not thousands) of rides on public transportation, I’ve realized that the only thing more annoying than delays

Cell Phone ChatterAfter hundreds (if not thousands) of rides on public transportation, I’ve realized that the only thing more annoying than delays and overcrowding is cell phone chatter. The smartphone era has turned buses and trains into living rooms. What did we all do before cell phones? Well, we waited at the pay phone (a public telephone that is operated by coins or by prepaid card) or waited until we reached our destination to use a landline (a telephone connection that uses wires carried on poles or under the ground).

To preserve the sanity of my fellow public transportation patrons, I thought, “How can I help deter folks from speaking loudly into a digital device in a confined space, thus interrupting tired travelers with the mundane details of their lives?” Well, there are cell phone jammers, which can block communication in small areas, but the $100,000 fine associated with using one is probably not worth the trouble.

Therefore, I’ve decided to recommend ten cell phone etiquette tips that, if adhered to, can improve everyone’s life:

1. If you dial one friend and they don’t answer, take that as a hint. Don’t dial another friend. Put the phone away and look out the window.

2. Please limit your calls to A) checking to see if your kids made it home safely; B) calling your boss to say you are running late; C) dialing 911 in an emergency. All of these calls should be no more than 60 seconds.

3. Calls that begin, “Hey, I just called to see how you were doing,” are unnecessary. Don’t make them. If you do, the looks from your fellow passengers might just burn a hole in your shirt.

4. Please silence your ringer so we don’t have to listen to the full length of one of Billboard’s Top Ten Hits or a digital ring chime of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.

5. Please don’t laugh so loud. Is what you’re talking about really that funny? Really?

6. If you have to keep repeating yourself, hang up and call back later.

7. Your fellow passengers aren’t interested in the fact that your significant other didn’t lock the door when they left this morning. Discuss when you arrive home.

8. Send a text message. Whatever happened to good old fashioned texting?

9. This is not the time to try and secure a date from the person you met at the bar last night. Read a book instead.

10. Bring a friend with you when you travel. Face to face chatter makes more sense.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest