A month for cell phone courtesy

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. Consider yourself warned.

Talk about poor taste in cell phones.

Forget Independence Day, Bastille Day, and Canada Day, there's something a lot more exciting going on in July than just celebrating your country. According to a Palm Beach, Fla., etiquette expert, we're also in the middle of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.

The "National" part is debatable, since no national body like the U.S. Congress has backed the event, but in a country with a National Frozen Food Month you can't be too picky.

While some of you may rightfully wonder if "courtesy" and something as obtrusive as a cell phone can ever go together, Jacqueline Whitmore of The Protocol School of Palm Beach (I can only imagine the board meetings of that group) begs to differ. She offers eight tips for "how to talk on a wireless phone without annoying others."

The tips, which range from not talking in a restaurant to speaking in quiet tones, are exactly what you'd expect, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth repeating. My favorite is tip No. 6, which advises against talking about private matters in a public place. I'm always amused when a person yelling at their significant other on a cell phone gets angry when you give them a strange look.

I wrote my own take on cell phone manners two years ago, but I want to know what you think. What are your pet peeves for cell phone behavior? How can cell phone users be more courteous?

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).


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