“Cell Phone Manners” – Samantha Hawkins

Samantha Hawkins is a current SCC student who wrote this essay for her English class. She is undecided for her area of study but is enjoying exploring her options.  

“Cell Phone Manners”

Cell phone users, at times, display poor cell phone manners. Some people use their phones at inappropriate times, such as texting while driving, or using their phones for long periods of time to create eye strain. I feel like people do not see the whole picture. A text is not worth a life when driving, and eye strain is bad for eyes. I get eye strain from my phone all the time. I constantly use my phone, except for when I am in class or in a public place with no Wi-Fi. A cell phone, an expensive item, is useful, yet there is a right time and place to use cell phones.

Laws exist about cell phone use in some states, but this is not consistent across states. For example, in North Carolina, there is no law that says a person can’t talk on the phone while driving. In contrast, in the state of West Virginia, it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving. I think that this law needs to be enforced more in North Carolina because many people use their phones while driving and sometimes end up causing an accident.

I also have a hard time putting my phone down when my mom calls me for dinner. It is a struggle to put it away because it is hard to stop using it. It is especially rude to use cell phones when at a restaurant. Talking to friends and family face-to-face is better than having eyes glued to a screen. If a person absolutely must take a call, then she can go outside to avoid disturbing others.

Another place where using cell phones is prohibited is during public shows such as plays, speeches, and dance recitals. I am guilty of using my Nintendo 3DS during my sister’s dance recitals. I only do it when I get bored easily at plays or recitals because these do not interest me. Last time I went to one of her recitals, I sat outside and played my 3DS most of the time because the music was too loud.

On the other hand, there are also appropriate times and places to use a cell phone. Some places include looking at weather updates, calling loved ones, and using a GPS for navigation purposes. My mom is always telling me to look at the weather before I go to school and make this a habit to know what to wear. Sometimes I forget. I’m usually too busy checking my social media accounts to look at the weather. I get caught up in social media; sometimes I do not realize an hour has already passed.

Calling loved ones often is important because people never know when they will not be here anymore. I need to call my grandmother more often, but I forget because I’m doing other activities. She also does not know when to stop talking. Most of the time, I cannot get a word in; other times the line goes dead, and she’s still talking. That happened with my mom a couple of times when she was talking to her in the past. I do sometimes text my grandmother whenever she texts me a funny story or just to say, “Have a good week! I love you.”

If a person is lost somewhere, it is important to have a fully charged cell phone. I was in this situation a couple of years ago when I went to the annual East Coast Gaming Conference in Raleigh. I had just gotten out of a seminar about a game I used to play back in middle school when I heard some people talking about one of my favorite restaurants, Jimmy John’s subs. It was about lunch time when I got out, and I was hungry. I thought I’d try and find the Jimmy John’s myself. I ended up getting lost for 45 minutes even with using Google Maps on my cell phone. Eventually, I realized I had gone too far.

All of these situations show there are both right and wrong places to use cell phones. People need to realize that spending time with family and friends is more important than being on social media.

-March 30, 2017

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