Mobile Phone Etiquette

Mobile Phone Etiquette

Jeff W. Totten, Thomas J. Lipscomb, Rasheek Irtisam
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch023
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The authors define mobile phone etiquette, and then summarize the academic research on the topic from its beginnings as usage in public and private spaces. We also provide tabular summaries of basic etiquette rules and inappropriate locations based on an extensive review of the consumer and trade press literature (newspaper and magazine articles, Internet web postings, and books). The authors end with suggestions for further research, a References section with 101 citations, and key articles and books that graduate students, who want to continue the research in this area, should read and study.
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Mobile phone research in general grew from the efforts of various information and communication technologies (ICT) companies primarily located in Europe (due to the early start of mobile phones there). Social scientists at France Telecom, Telenor (Norway), British Telecom, Vodafone UK, Telecom Italia, and Westel (Hungary) produced many journal articles and books on the usage of mobile phones (Green & Haddon, 2009, pp. 9-11).

One of the areas of research by the social scientists dealt with the concept of public and private space and how mobile phones have disrupted conventional rules regarding those spaces; i.e., etiquette. “The particular difficulty in dealing with relations in public space is partly in managing conflicting demands for privacy whilst being in public, amongst others, who are also managing privacy and being in public at the same time” (Green & Haddon, 2009, p. 55). And, sadly, it can lead to tragedy, as we witnessed with the killing of a mobile phone user in a Tampa-area theater by a retired policeman in January 2014 (Knight, 2014).

Dr. Richard Ling of Telenor (Ling, 1997, 2001, 2004) and Dr. Leslie Haddon of the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (Haddon, 2004; Haddon & Vincent, 2007; Green & Haddon, 2009) would be considered the pioneering scholars of mobile phone etiquette research. Dr. James Katz with the Center for Mobile Communications Studies (Rutgers University) also was an early contributor to this field of research (Katz, 2003; Katz, 2006). Drs. Scott Campbell of the University of Michigan (Campbell, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008), Thomas J. Lipscomb (University of Southern Mississippi), Jeffrey W. Totten (McNeese State University), Roy Cook (Fort Lewis College) and Bill Lesch (University of North Dakota) are among the leading experts on mobile phone etiquette, especially as it pertains to college students (Lipscomb, Totten, Cook & Lesch, 2005).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Private Setting: A location that may be physical and/or psychological, where a person considers encounters with others or oneself to be personal and not anyone else’s business.

Driving Issues: Important topics or problems for debate or discussion regarding the driving of automobiles.

Mobile Phone: A portable device that allows the user to make phone calls while on the move.

Classroom Issues: Important topics or problems for debate or discussion regarding the teaching classroom.

Etiquette: Manners; how one behaves with others in any setting; socially acceptable rules of behavior.

Public Setting: A physical location where one is out among the general public.

Cheating: Breaking the law or rules in order to get ahead, to get a higher grade on a classroom test or assignment.

Rudeness: A lack of manners; inappropriate public behavior.

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