Teen Angst

Helping adolescents deal with anger and other emotions effectively

Cellular Etiquette for Teens

Teens top 10 cellular ettiquette tips.

Is your teen texting all the time? What about that annoying ring tone that goes off every time his best friend calls? If so, then your teen just might need a crash course in Cellular Etiquette. Many teens today use modern technology as a primary means of communication. From cells to texting to social networking sites, teens have many more avenues to communicate with one another than in the past.


The days of face to face interaction is decreasing as we have the convenience of immediate and instant gratification of real time communication. Oftentimes as parents, it's hard to keep up with the fast paced technological world that our teens live in so they get the advantage of getting one step ahead of us. With the growing use of cell phones, more and more teens are zoning into a different world and are quickly forgetting their manners.  Check out the top 10 teen (and adult) cellular etiquette rules.

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Top 10 Cell Phone Etiquette Tips:

1. Exercise the Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Speak with respect to one another on the phone or in a text. Remember, that there's another person on the receiving end of what you're sending.

2. Don't text or talk on your handset while you're driving. This is a big mistake that can lead to wrecks and fatalities. Nothing is so important that it can't wait and if it is then find a place to pull off the road and send your message or make your call.  Plus, in some states you may get a ticket if you're caught. 

3. If the person that you're talking to can't hear you don't speak louder. Cell phones have microphones that are right at your mouth so the phone will carry your voice, no need to shout.

4. Turn off your ringer in public places. Nothing is more annoying than a phone going off in a public place.                                                                    

5. Don't talk or text when you are in the company of someone else. It makes the person that you're with feel unimportant.

6. Don't talk in a public place where others can hear your conversation. Exercise the 10 Foot Proximity Rule - keep a distance of 10 feet from the closest person when you're talking on the phone.

7. Don't snap pictures or video someone without their permission. Just because there's a camera on your phone it doesn't give you the right to photograph someone. Don't post a picture of anyone on-line without their consent - it can lead to big trouble if you do, especially if the picture is inappropriate (better yet, don't take inappropriate pictures).

8. If you drop a call, call the person back.

9. Don't text when you're angry. Anger can blind you and result in doing or saying things that you later regret. When you blast someone out of anger it can cause a lot of hurt or even more anger. Unfortunately, once the deed is done there's no going back. If you are mad at someone, lay low until you get your cool and then address the situation.

10. Remember, the way you text is not the way you write an academic paper. It's not uncommon to see teens use the lingo and abbreviated versions of texting in their academic work. U know what I mean? U need 2 Bcareful. Not a good habit 2 4m.

While advancing technology is exciting it also has its drawbacks and for teens this comes in the form of social skills. As parents, it's hard to instill cellular manners when you're not with your teen 24/7 and aren't privy to what they're doing with their phone.  So, how do you teach Cellular Etiquette?  Easy, sit down and review appropriate and inappropriate ways to speak and text one another on the phone.  Keep the dialogue open with your teen. They will carry the skills that you teach them throughout the duration of their life.

Tune in for the next blog:  Cyber Etiquette for Teens: Teen's Top 10 Tips.

Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., L.P.C., is the author of The Anger Workbook for Teens.

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