Cell Phone Savvy introduction

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Cell Phone Savvy


Telephones have been around a long time, but cell phones have only been commonly used within the last 15 years or so. Pass out copies of the handout “Cell Phone Savvy.” Let’s review basic phone etiquette:

Making calls:

  • When you place a call, identify yourself right away.

  • If the phone gets disconnected, then the person making the call should redial the number.

  • If you dial the wrong number, apologize before hanging up.

  • If you get someone’s answering machine or voice mail, don’t hang up- leave your name, number, and a brief message.

Receiving Calls:

  • When answering the phone, just say “Hello” or “______ Residence.”

  • If the person is calling for someone else and doesn’t identify themselves, politely ask “Who’s calling please?”

  • If the person is calling for someone who isn’t there, just tell them that that person is not available, but you would be happy to take a message.

  • If someone dials the wrong number, just tell them politely that they’ve dialed the wrong number.

Taking a Message:

  • Always offer to take a message for someone who is not available.

  • Be sure to write down the three “W”s- Who called, when they called, and why they called.

  • Leave the message in an area that the person will easily find it (next to the phone, on a bulletin board, on the fridge, or on the counter).

Cell Phones

Cell phones make communication easy and convenient. The popularity of cell phones has created the need for a new type of manners – cell phone manners. Most of the

same manners that apply to regular phones also apply to cell phones, but there are a few extra guidelines:

  1. Choose a ring tone that is pleasant and not annoying.

  2. Turn down speaker volume so that others are not disturbed.

  3. Lower your tone of voice so that your conversation remains private.

  4. In public, keep your conversation short. Don’t try to have a phone conversation while checking out at a store or ordering a meal.

  5. Don’t have an argument or emotional conversation in public.

  6. Turn cell phones off in libraries, movie theaters, churches, doctors’ offices, rest rooms, and school buildings.

  7. When answering a call, move at least 10 feet away from other people so you do not disturb their conversations or activities.

  8. Remember, using a cell phone is not a good idea if you are driving or operating machinery that requires your full attention.

  9. Before making a cell phone call, make sure you have a good signal.

  10. If someone using a cell phone is talking too loudly, try moving to another location. If that is not possible, ask an authority figure, such as the restaurant or theater manager, to talk to that person.

Text Messaging:

  • Text messages can be forwarded on to others, so be careful what you send!

  • Treat texting as you would a cell phone call, if you should not be talking on the phone, then you probably shouldn’t be texting.

  • Never text while driving.

  • Make sure your plan includes texting, since it can cost extra.

  • Be safe, don’t send a message or receive one from someone you don’t know.

Finishing School

Divide up into teams and read your Role Play card. Next, act out both the wrong and the right way to handle each situation. Have some old phones or toy phones for youth to use as props.



  • What was the hardest part of this activity?

  • What did you enjoy the most?


  • Has someone else’s cell phone ever interrupted you while eating out at a restaurant or watching a movie? How did it make you feel?

  • Why is it just as important to have good cell phone manners?


  • Why is it important to have good manners?

  • How do you think manners will help you in the future?


  • What types of situations in life require you to demonstrate good cell phone manners?


If you are working with an older group (middle or high school age), it would be a good idea to review cell phone use while driving a car.

Safe Driving – It’s Your Call!

Some states have outlawed the use of cell phones while driving because studies have shown that cell phone use caused more accidents. Drivers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Washington are not allowed to use handheld phones while driving. There are currently 17 states that do not allow drivers under the age of 18 to use phones at all. To find out more about laws that govern cell phone use while driving, visit the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (www.ghsa.org) and click on “state info” to find out about the laws in your state.

If your state does not allow you to use a cell phone while driving, then don’t do it! If you must use your cell phone while in the car, make sure you pull over to the side of the road and come to a complete stop or let a friend make the call for you. Here are some tips to help you be a safe driver:

  • Get to know your cell phone’s features – especially voice commands, speed dial, and re-dial. Never try to dial your phone while driving.

  • Let your voice mail answer your phone, especially if you are driving in heavy traffic or hazardous weather.

  • Use your cell phone to call for help. Dial 911 if you see an emergency situation such as an accident, fire, or road hazard.

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution

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