Unwritten Rules Of Cellphone Use: Okay At Dinner, Not At Church Or On A Date

Just a decade ago, mentioning the phrase "cellphone etiquette" would probably get your laughed at. Today, it's a reasonable conversation to have. Just as the world has taken to an unofficial list of inflight Wi-Fi rules, the mobile community is also largely abiding by an unwritten set of rules that guide cellphone users on what to do (and more importantly, not do) when using their phone in mixed company. A recent survey broke down exactly what you can/can't do, but here are a few of our favorites.
  • Using your phone to check emails, check scores, send a text message or make a phone call while someone else is talking to you is a big no-no.
  • Checking out an incoming SMS while someone's talking to you is super rude.
  • Sending an electronic "thank you" or "congrats" is perfectly acceptable if the person you're sending it to regularly uses their handset to communicate (in other words, your colleague is fine, but grandma...not so much).
  • Using your cellphone or laptop in the bathroom is perfectly acceptable--just rinse and lather afterwards!
  • Letting a mystery call go to voicemail is totally fine--you wouldn't want to pick up on someone that you were supposed to call back weeks ago, now would you?
  • Taking a business call at dinner is okay, but not during a date. Unless you want to kill the relationship, of course.
The survey found that over half of those who responded saw the cellphone (along with laptops and netbooks) as a vital part of their everyday life, with 55% of 'em thinking that the demands of business sort of forced them to stay wired (or unwired, as it were). That means that sometimes you have to take a call or SMS even during a meal or an intimate time with friends--despite just how crappy it is.

That said, there are a few times where using a cellphone is just not acceptable. The #1 place? In a church or temple. If you get a ring while prayer is going on, you best step outside to answer. Wouldn't want the gods to smite you, now would you? So, where do you draw the line? What's acceptable and not? What are some of your favorite cellphone do's and don'ts?