The whole point in having a cell phone is so you can be reached (or reach others) at any time, whether you want to or not. If you have children, wouldn’t you want them to be able to reach you in case of an emergency? For that matter, you would probably want anyone with your cell phone number (family, friends, etc.) to be able to reach you in case of an emergency, as you would want to be able to reach them in the same situation. If you receive an important call while your phone is turned off, sure you will still get the message, but maybe not until it is too late.
I am one of those people who is highly irritated when my meal that I am out paying good money for is interrupted by a loud and obnoxious noise coming from a nearby table. I do not, however, feel that banning cell phones in restaurants, or in any other public place for that matter, is the answer. The issue isn’t even really about whether cell phones should be allowed in these places-the real issue is cell phone etiquette.
Cell phone etiquette rule #1: Silence your phone. Anyone with common decency should know to put the phone on silent or vibrate when they go into a public setting, especially a restaurant, library, theatre, or other more family-oriented and private settings. No one wants to hear “I’m In Love With A Stripper” or “Glamorous” blaring from the table behind them in a restaurant. However, I highly doubt that anyone would mind you answering a call if they never even heard it ring, unless you were talking obnoxiously loud.
Cell phone etiquette rule #2: Use your indoor voice. We all know those people who feel the need to scream into cell phones because the distance or something makes it seems like others cannot hear you. This is not necessary. Your voice is not distorted simply because you are using a cell phone (unless you have a really crappy service provider, anyway), so please don’t act like the person on the other line is deaf and you have to talk as loud and slow as you possibly can.
Cell phone etiquette rule #3: Excuse yourself. If you receive a call in which you A) don’t want others to hear, B) is business related, or C) is going to take any lengthy amount of time, be kind enough to excuse yourself and relocate elsewhere. Sitting at a table full of people while in the middle of a conversation with someone who is not that is not only going to piss the people that actually are there, but it is also probably going to make you feel a little awkward. That being said, just avoid the whole situation by relocation to a restroom, lounge, or simply outside until you are done the conversation.
These rules are fairly simple and it is not asking too much for people to follow them, however, I’m sure most of the population will continue to be rude and ignorant by doing all of the things mentioned above that they should not. Nevertheless, banning cell phones from restaurants is still not necessary, because even if they were banned, people would not follow the rule, they would just resort to the etiquette rules or get kicked out. Perhaps we should all just grow up and act older than thirteen and just follow the rules, shall we?