To Cell or Not to Cell--That is the Question

Mae : Wireless Mobility Blog
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To Cell or Not to Cell--That is the Question

Warning: I’m about to get on the soapbox.
I’ve written before about cell phone etiquette, but usually shy away from the topic since I have a tendency to get off on a rant when doing so. This morning, though, two articles—one at The Orion Online about the debate regarding what’s rude and what’s not with cell phone usage, the other a column by StatesmanJournal writer Carol McAlice Currie about cell phone yakkers in the library—caught my eye and got my pulse pumping.
Instead of going on a rant, though, today I’m going to suggest a very straightforward way to determine whether or not its appropriate to talk on a cell phone in any given situation.
At the core of my suggestion is the reason why, I suspect, people get so uptight about cell phone usage. It’s because talking on the cell phone represents something that people have been doing since language first appeared—engaging in a conversation—but in a way that defies established social rules.
So here’s my suggestion: if you are in a situation where you’re uncertain whether or not cell phone usage is appropriate, ask yourself, “Is this an appropriate setting for having a conversation?”
Maybe that sounds overly simplistic, but I suspect it would settle the debate in virtually all cases. Let’s say, for example, that you’re at a theater watching a movie. Would you turn to the person next to you and start having a conversation at any tone above a whisper? Didn’t think so. That means talking on the cell phone, which is just one method of having a conversation, isn’t appropriate either.
Here’s another example: you’re going through the check-out at the grocery store while conversing with a friend, child or spouse. When it comes time to pay, I’m guessing that you pause your conversation so you can interact with the cashier—right? Then you should do the same thing if you’re on a cell phone call; pause the conversation or hang up and call back when you’re done checking out.
Of course, things get more complicated in casual social situations when you’re on the phone with someone and also trying to interact with people who happen to be in your physical presence—such as if you’re riding in the car with friends and get a call from another friend. Is cell phone use appropriate there?  I would say it is if you treat the caller temporarily like someone who just walked into the room. You’d greet him or her, say a few words, and then either include that person in the conversation already underway (using speakerphone) or say “Catch you later” and hang up.
Does this make sense? Is there a situation where my (hopefully) commonsense suggestion doesn’t work? Let me know.

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Wi-Fi wat is het waard? EPN Nieuwsforum op 6 oktober
september 30, 2003

EPN, platform voor de informatiesamenleving, organiseert op 6 oktober een nieuwsforum onder de titel 'Wi-Fi wat is het waard?'. Thuis, op kantoor en in de openbare ruimte wordt er schijnbaar moeiteloos draadloos verbinding gemaakt met het internet. Steeds meer producten worden met Wi-Fi mogelijkheden uitgerust, nieuwe diensten worden aangeboden. Naast trends en toepassingen van Wi-Fi worden een viertal business cases gepresenteerd. Aansluitend is er een discussie, deze wordt gemodereerd door Vincent Everts.

Het panel discussieert over de volgende stellingen:
* Wi-Fi is de poor mans fiber to the home;
* Wi-Fi is de doodsteek voor UMTS;
* Wi-Fi is een eendagstechniek, te veel in ontwikkeling en te ingewikkeld;
* Wi-Fi kunnen we niet overlaten aan mobiele operators met 3G licenties;


You know, as much as you try to drill it into their head, there are those people that will be answering their phone at all the wrong times. I mean, we have had cell phones for how long now? You would think that people would begin to understand what is right and wrong with them. Movie theaters are even putting up the "please turn off your cell phones" panels. You know how many times I have been to the theater and not heard one go off, or worse yet, someone answer it? None. That is right. I have not been to a movie in the last 3 years where there was not someone that answered their phone at the big emotional ending or right in the middle of an action scene. And you know what is worse, when I hear them say "I will call you back, I am in a movie".