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Ten Commandments of Cell Phone Usage

We’re obviously all for the usage of cell phones and other devices (how else would you be able to experience these wonderful mobile websites?) but there are some times when it’s just not appropriate to be surfing the mobile web or carrying on a loud conversation.

We came across these Cell Phone Ten Commandments written back in 2000 and thought they could use a little updating. By all means, use your cell phone, but do it respectively and safely.

Original – 1) Thou shalt not subject defenseless onlookers to cell phone conversations. When people cannot escape the banality of your conversation–on a plan, on a train, on a bus, in a cab, or at the dinner table–spare them.
2012 Version – No updating needed here.  It’s still just as awkward as ever to hear one-end of a very descriptive conversation.  

2) Thou shalt not set thy ringer to play “La Cucaracha” every time thy phone rings. Or Beethoven’s Fifth, or the Bee Gees, or any other annoying melody. Is it not enough that phones go off every other second?
We’ll admit that this has gotten better since the introduction of real music ringtones, but the “vibrate” option was invented for a reason… 

3) Thou shalt turn thy cell phone off during public performances. I’m not even sure this one needs saying, but given the repeated violations of this heretofore unwritten law, I felt compelled to include it.
Unfortunately this hasn’t improved in the last 12 years. Certain places are taking a stand though, like the Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theatre in Austin, TX >

4) Thou shalt not wear more than two wireless devices on thy belt. This hasn’t become a big problem yet. But with plenty of technojockeys sporting pagers and phones, Batman-esque utility belts are sure to follow. Let’s nip this one in the bud.
Thank goodness this doesn’t apply anymore! No smartphones in “Batman-esque utility belts”, however there are some interesting cell phone accessories out there…

5) Thou shalt not dial while driving. In all seriousness, this madness has to stop. There are enough people in the world who have problems mastering vehicles and phones individually.
“No Texting and Driving” is a necessary update for the 2012 list. Texting someone “I’m on the way” isn’t really necessary if you’re already on the way there, and it could actually prevent you from getting there in one piece. Be safe, please. 

6) Thou shalt not wear thy earpiece in the presence of thy friends. This is not unlike being on the phone and carrying on another conversation with someone who is physically in your presence. No one knows if you’re here or there.
The blue tooth ear piece craze has died down a little, but everyone has still been in a situation where you’re carrying on a conversation with someone and all of a sudden they’re making no sense at all. A quick glance to the other side of their head and there it is, the cell phone that they managed to hear ring, answer, and start a brand new conversation on – all while you were finishing your last sentence. Impressive? Maybe. Annoying? Definitely.   

7) Thou shalt not speak louder on thy cell phone than thou would on any other phone. These things have incredibly sensitive microphones, and it’s gotten to the point where I can tell if someone is calling me from a cell because of the way they are talking, not how it sounds. If your signal cuts out, speaking louder won’t help, unless the person is actually within earshot.
Please apply these same rules to the Blue Tooth in your vehicle. It was designed to be able to pick up the sound of your voice and transmit it to the other person. Screaming at your steering wheel and/or dashboard doesn’t improve sound quality, trust me.  

8 ) Thou shalt not grow too attached to thy cell phone. For obvious reasons, a dependency on constant communication is not healthy. At work, go nuts. At home, give it a rest.
Obviously Mobile web-browsing and Social Media weren’t standards back in 2000… Constant communication is now the norm and smart phones are the newest “necessity”. Oh well, 9 out of 10 isn’t bad!  

9)  Thou shalt not attempt to impress with thy cell phone. Not only is using a cell phone no longer impressive in any way (unless it’s one of those really cool new phones with the space-age design), when it is used for that reason, said user can be immediately identified as a neophyte and a poseur.
New smart phones are definitely impressive, but they are so main stream now that it’s almost impossible to impress someone else with one. Example: “Oh, you have a Samsung Galaxy/iPhone/Windows Phone that can play music/take videos/support 468 gaming apps? That’s cool! So does my mom, brother, sister, uncle, neighbor, best friend’s dog walker….”  

10) Thou shalt not slam thy cell phone down on a restaurant table just in case it rings. This is not the Old West, and you are not a gunslinger sitting down to a game of poker in the saloon. Could you please be a little less conspicuous? If it rings, you’ll hear it just as well if it’s in your coat pocket or clipped on your belt.
The only way we think a cell phone should sit on a restaurant table is if you’re participating in the new No Cell Phone Dinner Challenge. The rules are simple: 

  1. The game starts after everyone sits down.
  2. Everybody places their phone in the middle of the table.
  3. The first person to touch their phone loses the game.
  4. Loser of the game pays the bill for everyone’s meal.
  5. If the bill comes before anyone has touched their phone, everybody is declared a winner and pays for their own meal.

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Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
Phone: 480.614.9000

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