They've truly thought of everything. July is now dubbed Cellphone Courtesy Month, though it is worth noting that we should all consider being courteous for the other eleven months of the year, too.
To mark this newly minted awareness month, and hopefully spark good cellphone decorum all year-round, TELUS recently surveyed Canadians to gauge their thoughts on cellphone etiquette.
When Canadians were asked "when or where is it completely unacceptable for others to use their smartphone", more people indicated movie theatres than funerals (12 per cent versus. 10 per cent, respectively).
Face to palm. The data suggests that we don't have a cell phone etiquette problem so much as a crisis of humanity.
The survey showed that respondents overwhelmingly admit to using their smartphone to tune someone out, or to avoid conversation. Fully 75 per cent of people said they purposefully use their smartphone to tune people out and nearly a third (30 per cent) even admitted to doing so on the day they were surveyed.
The survey also found that we are twice as likely to whip out our phones around family and friends (83 per cent) than we are when we are at the office (40 per cent).
More than half (54 per cent) of respondents said that if their counterpart whipped out their phone on a first date, there wouldn't be a second one. In fact, 16 per cent said they would end the date early if their companion couldn't keep it in their pants (their phone, that is).
I've said it before and I'll say it again: don't do things with your phone that you wouldn't do in the flesh. Sitting at a dinner table, what's the harm in squeezing in a sneaky text, right? But would you, at that same table, ignore the friend you're in mid-conversation with, and strike up a new conversation with someone you recognize behind you? Maybe you're bored at a wedding (I know, I know, some speeches go one longer that an Academy Award acceptance) and want to know how the Jays game is going? Checking the score on Twitter is akin to speaking over the person who is talking, and asking someone what's up with the game.
Here's the thing: this isn't really new territory. Our phones have been welded to our hands for a few years now. It is looking like they'll stay there, so we need to figure this out. Tricky. Very trickaaay.
Know that feeling of rebuff when someone turns their attention away from you and straight into their little screen? It doesn't feel good at all. Being slighted, in any way, stings. So back to basics and the good news is that it is wonderfully simple: treat others the way we all want to be treated. All 12 months of the year.
If this topic really hits home for you and makes you want to confess for phone manner misdemeanors, there is salvation on the way. TELUS is inviting Canadians to come clean and share their cellphone etiquette confessions this July on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #keepitinyourpants. Check out KeepitinYourPants.ca for more information.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
If an unanswered texts or emails gets your heart rate going, there's a good chance that your smartphone is adding stress to your life rather than making it easier. Constantly interrupting what you're doing -- whether it's writing a college essay or spending some quality time with your friends -- to check your phone might be an indication that your behavior has become compulsive. When you start getting anxious about your inbox, take a moment to step back and remind yourself that it's probably not as urgent as it seems. Sleeping with your phone away from your bed and keeping it in your backpack instead of your pocket during class can also gradually help to lessen your urge to be constantly checking for new messages.
You could’ve sworn you felt your phone vibrating in your back pocket, but when you took it out, you saw that nothing had happened. Phantom cellphone vibration syndrome is a real sign of technology addiction -- and it's more common than you might think. A study conducted at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne found that a whopping 89 percent of undergrads had experienced feeling nonexistent cellphone vibrations.
Are you constantly thinking about what everyone else is doing and all the things you might be missing out on at any given moment? Does scrolling through party photos and enthusiastic weekend updates on your News Feed make you feel sad or anxious? Well, there's a name for that: FOMO. It's not uncommon for ocial media and smartphone users to experience a "fear of missing out" when they're unable to get to their phones or when they're getting updates about all the exciting things that everyone in their social network is doing. The best way to combat FOMO is to step back and say no sometimes, and just take sometime to do whatever you want -- not what other people are doing or telling you to do.
We've all be there -- you're having dinner with friends or family with your phone sitting next to your plate, and instead of ignoring it, you turn your attention away from the conversation to respond to a text. While there's nothing wrong with picking up important calls or excusing yourself to answer messages when necessary -- but if you make a habit of giving only half your attention to the people you're with while the other half is busy checking Twitter, it might be time to rethink your phone habits. To avoid damaging your relationships, make a resolution to give your full attention to whoever you're with in person and save the screen time for later.
If you experience withdrawal when you can't check your phone or respond to messages, you might have a technology addiction. Studies have found that turning off their phones can induce physical and mental withdrawal symptoms similar to those exhibited by drug addicts. If you feel yourself becoming nervous and antsy when you're away from your phone, take note of those feelings and find a coping mechanism -- taking deep breaths, going for a walk or exercising could help you get past the anxiety.
If you're having an increasingly difficult time focusing in class and eagerly await the ringing of the bell so that you can check your phone and return that unanswered text, an Internet or smartphone addiction may be partially to blame for low grades. Although there may be many factors at play in decreasing academic performance, constant distraction and excessive time spent on your smartphone can easily interfere with your schoolwork. If the lure of your phone is too powerful for you to concentrate on homework, try downloading an app that blocks social media activity and online distractions.
Follow Karen Cleveland on Twitter: www.twitter.com/schoolfinishing