Unspoken rules govern cell phone etiquette

Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:50pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - It may not seem like it when commuters are shouting down their cell phones to the dismay of other passengers but most Americans believe there are unspoken rules about mobile phone etiquette.

Checking emails, sending text messages and making telephone calls while in the company of others are definite breeches of mobile manners.

Texting during a date is also strictly forbidden.

But most people questioned in an online poll said they would not be offended if they received an electronic thank you, instead of a written note and 75 percent had no objections to anyone using laptops, netbooks and cell phones in the bathroom.

"Etiquette is first and foremost a question of awareness," said author and etiquette expert Anna Post.

But she described the results of the Harris Interactive poll commissioned by Intel as "pretty surprising statistics."

Sixty-two percent of the 2,625 adults who took part in the survey agreed that cell phones, laptops, netbooks and other electronic devices are part of daily life.

Fifty-five percent also thought the demands of business mean people must stay connected, even if it involves taking a laptop on a holiday or answering a cell phone during a meal.   Continued...

<p>A woman talks on her cell phone on a subway train in New York in this February 2, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Seth Wenig</p>