Talking or texting on a cell phone in public may seem a distraction for many individuals. When in public there are two times when one uses a phone. The first is when someone is alone and the other is when he/she is in a group. The main issue for most people is when they are in a group, and the cell phone becomes a distraction or a barrier for successful socialization among family and friends. In the past few years, society has become less tolerant in terms of accepting the use of cell phones in public areas for example, public transportation, restaurants and much more. “Some have suggested that mobile phones ‘affect every aspect of our personal and professional lives either directly or indirectly’” (Humphrey). Every culture varies in terms of tolerance for cell phone usage, for instance in Western society cell phones are permissible during free time at schools, whereas in the eastern countries, cell phones are strictly prohibited on school property.
Mobile phone use can be an important matter of social discourtesy: phones ringing during funerals or weddings; in toilets, cinemas and theatres. Some book shops, libraries, bathrooms, cinemas, doctors' offices and places of worship prohibit their use, so that other patrons will not be disturbed by conversations. Some facilities install signal-jamming equipment to prevent their use, although in many countries, including the US, such equipment is illegal. Some new auditoriums have installed wire mesh in the walls to make a Faraday cage, which prevents signal penetration without violating signal jamming laws.
A working group made up of Finnish telephone companies, public transport operators and communications authorities has launched a campaign to remind mobile phone users of courtesy, especially when using mass transit—what to talk about on the phone, and how to. In particular, the campaign wants to impact loud mobile phone usage as well as calls regarding sensitive matters.
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