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  • Mobile Professional Etiquette

    As mobile users continue to rise, mobile usage etiquette, continues to head south.  Even though people use their mobile phones everywhere and for every purpose, most think that’s excuse enough to not pay attention to the people around them.  Sadly, that gets to be a part of their first impression.  Now, couple with that with poor interaction skills even with those they’re texting and messaging and it’s a personal brand nightmare before you’ve even said, hello!

    Your not committing mobile phone faux pas? The people surrounding you may think otherwise. Here are some  tips for mobile professional etiquette that will help you, at least, not leave someone feeling offended or uncomfortable when you’re interacting with your mobile phone.

    1. Driving and using your mobile phone

    Though there are laws governing mobile phone usage while driving, some people still feel compelled to break the law and use their mobile phones while driving. Now, if only they would settle for using the hands-free mode. But time and again, there continues to be people who become a danger to the road as they answer a call or even text while they’re driving.

    How professional are you when you’re drifting into someone else’s lane?  Or, when you’re too involved in your conversation to remember that green means go?  Nothing is ruder or less professional than a driver who appears to not care about the other drivers on the road, pedestrians or even their passengers.  Just don’t do it.

    2. Using your mobile phone while you’re with someone in person

    So you’re having a good conversation with a friend, a colleague or even a date, and then the phone rings, and you excuse yourself to answer it and end up talking to the person who called for a while.

    The mere action of answering the phone speaks volumes that “there maybe something more interesting or important than you” on the other line!

    3. Having your phone ring in a place that’s supposed to be quiet

    Don’t you find it annoying whenever you’re in a movie theater and engrossed in the plot of a movie, when suddenly, some random person’s phone rings, ruining the experience? Truly, a ringing phone in a movie theater, in a library, in a church, in a meeting, and so many more places, epitomize the height of bad manners.

    Please just put your mobile phone on silent or vibrate so the rest of the world can view and listen to what’s happening in peace.  (And, be sure you can find your phone.  Sure, it’s not distracting that your phone’s ringing, your babbling excuses that you “can never find this thing”, and that you were “going to” turn  it off. Oh please!)

    4. Talking too loudly when using your mobile phone

    I often wonder when someone does this – are they really on the phone or are they so starved for attention that they’re creating this huge distraction for us?  First impressions are lasting.

    5 .Exposing too much information while talking over the phone in public

    Some people seem to have the habit of this. They end up talking for a long time using their mobile phone, and the people surrounding them can hear everything from the playful kissy noises they’re exchanging with their partner, to their conversation about bowel movements and constipation.

    There’s a reason why personal conversations are called “personal” and that’s because no one else really wants to hear you crying dramatically as you talk over your mobile phone. So when you do get a personal call in a public place, just tell the other person you’ll call him right back or find a quiet, relatively private place to talk.

    6. Using annoying and embarrassing ringtones

    I’m all for personal preferences and I’m also all about not putting obstacles in your own way.  Hence, during business hours, vibrate seems to bee the safest choice.

    When you think about it, mobile professional etiquette isn’t rocket science. It’s actually very simple – it’s basically just using common sense. Yet, how uncommon is that?

    Remember, you never know who someone is; who they’ll be come; or who they influence. Leave them with a first impression that’s worthy of a second look, meeting, introduction to contacts or interview.

    Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.  Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat- a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.

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