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Mobile Manners Matter…Even at Home

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. Traditionally, conversations around cell phone etiquette have focused on the do's and don'ts of using our wireless devices in public settings. This year's a bit different as most Americans are spending much of their time at home. But just because we're housebound and surrounded by loving family doesn't mean we shouldn't be mindful of how, when and where we're using our phones.

To help avoid being sent to wireless time out, Cricket Wireless has a few in-home cell phone courtesy tips for your consideration:

IN-HOME TIP #1: Avoid Using Your Cell Phone at the Table

Elbows aren't the only thing that don't belong on the table; cell phones don't either. Dining together, whether over a bowl of cereal at breakfast or while enjoying mom's famous pot roast at dinner, is a chance to connect and unwind. Sure, you've probably been home with your family all day, every day. But, more than likely, the interactions have been less engaging. At the table is when you can catch up and find out how everyone is doing, discuss current events, family gossip or share whatever is on your mind. Yes, occasionally there is an urgent matter that may require you to take or make a call. When this happens, apologize for the interruption and briefly step away from the table to talk. This also goes for texting; you don't need to leave the table, but you should make the correspondence quick.

IN-HOME TIP #2: Don’t Commit a Volume Violation

Depending on the size of your household, there's a chance that cell phone chatter is happening around the clock-or it may seem that way because of the sheer volume of calls. From work-related conference calls and video chats to spirited talkathons with friends, there's a lot more cell phone noise in our homes. It's important to be aware and considerate of those in your immediate space. No, you don't have to always use the proverbial "inside voice," but you should avoid shouting into the phone or using speakerphone when others are within ear shot. If you know you're a loud talker, consider taking your calls in the privacy of your bedroom or home office-even the bathroom or fresh outdoors will do.

IN-HOME TIP #3: Don’t Make Your Family Compete with Your Cell Phone

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to have a face-to-face conversation with someone who can't look you in the eye for more than a few seconds at a time because they're constantly staring at their phone screen. Similarly, it's equally annoying when you're supposed to be bonding over a favorite TV show or enjoying movie night together, but instead your family member is focused on the drama on their small screen instead of the big one. Do your best to stay focused on who and what's in front of you. Just like when driving, avoid cell phone distractions when socializing in the home. If you know you're prone to sneak a peek at your phone during social interactions, be proactive and turn it off.

These are a few tips to avoid in-home cell phone infractions. Sheltering in place has its benefits as well as its challenges but practicing cell phone courtesy can go a long way in helping make family time at home more pleasant for everyone.