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Cell phone etiquette: Do's and Don'ts

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We can't live without them, but bad cell phone behavior could hurt your social life and your career.

Etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore named July, National Cell Phone Courtesy Month back in 2002.  On her website, she says, with the ubiquity of smartphones and other electronic devices, our society's "techno-etiquette" seems to be declining.

She offers some simple tips:

- Be completely present in a meeting or other important event by keeping your phone silent.

- Avoid discussing private or confidential information in public - you never know who might be listening to your phone call.

- The people you're with should take precedence over your phone.  But if you're expecting an important call, let your companions know ahead of time and excuse yourself when your phone rings.

- Avoid what she calls "cell yell" - speak in your regular conversational tone.

- Use headphones while watching video or listening to music in public.

- And don't text and drive - it puts your life and the lives of others at risk.

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