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Meredith Holt, Published August 22 2013

5 Things Friday: Tips for cellphone etiquette

FARGO – You’d think by now most cellphone users would have etiquette basics down.

You’d be wrong. If anything, cell manners have gotten worse with increased use.

People still text on dates, answer calls in movie theaters and argue with their spouses in checkout lines.

Here’s a refresher:

1. Respect your company.

It’s become standard practice to set your phone down next to your napkin when dining out. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK.

Give your company the respect of your undivided attention during one-on-one time. Notifications can wait, and voice mail exists for a reason.

2. Respect quiet zones.

There are certain places where phones should stay in your purse or pocket.

The sounds, vibrations and lights are distracting in conference rooms, theaters and places of worship.

3. Don’t keep service personnel waiting.

Cashiers, waitstaff and others who work with customers are busy.

When you make them wait to ring you up or ask you a question because you’re gabbing on your phone, you slow them down and affect other customers.

A simple, “Can I call you back? I’m checking out” will do.

4. Keep arguments private.

People argue. It’s normal.

But if you’re in public, remember that not everyone wants to hear a one-sided phone argument.

If it can’t wait, duck outside or somewhere private and keep it down. Otherwise ask to continue the conversation later.

5. Don’t text and drive.

The next time you’re at a stoplight, look around. At least a few drivers will likely have their phones out at the wheel.

Texting while driving – even at stoplights – is dangerous. It takes your eyes and attention off the road and can have fatal consequences.

Wait until you’re parked to read and write text messages.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590