Cell Phone Etiquette is Not the Same in Every Country

Do you remember life without cell phones? It was not that long ago that seeing someone with a cell phone was an oddity. Additionally, if they had one it was bigger than their hand and very cumbersome to lug around. Most of my life has been spent without a cell phone and yet now, when I misplace mine, I feel like I am almost naked.

Cell phones are called mobile phones in most parts of the world and every culture treats them a little differently. In America, as with many other things, almost anything goes. We talk on our cell phones in the supermarket, in our cars, in restaurants, and almost anywhere except church and the movie theater. It has gotten so bad that many states are now passing laws that make it illegal to talk and hold a cell phone while driving. Although it is obviously rude and annoying to hear people in public talking on their cell phones, no one sees to care and the mob rules.

In Japan, it is considered rude to use your mobile phone in many places and so they do not. You will never see or hear a Japanese person talking on their mobile phone in a train, subway, supermarket, or most other public places. It is most rare to even hear a mobile phone ring in public as they always seem to have them on "silent" mode. Quite a contrast indeed, from America.

Cell phones keep changing and evolving a lightning speed. What was cool 6 months ago is now almost always old and obsolete. Many people have started in the last couple of years to wear their cell phones on their ears with the advent of an attachment which transmits to the main unit. People think nothing of walking around in public all day with these strange and odd looking contraptions hanging from their ears. It seems that just years ago they would be laughed off the street. No one is laughing now though as more more people keep buying and using them.

The cell phone is now quickly becoming a handheld computer as well as a phone, camera, and MP3 player. The newest cell phones will connect you to the Internet and it is just a matter of time before that becomes commonplace. Someday quite soon everyone will have a small computer in their pocket in the form of a cell phone. I am starting to wonder whether there will ever be a need for face to face communication in the future.


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