by Morton D. Rosenbaum | April 01, 2004

There was a time when public use of a cell phone was unforgivably gauche. Nowadays, however, it’s difficult to ride a bus without hearing the opening strains of Mozart’s 40th in MIDI format. For a primer on modern cell-phone manners, the experts at Nextel offer the following list.

You rang? Ringing telephones aren’t only an intrusion at the movie theater or in the boardroom. Nextel suggests you check with those around you even at restaurants or the gym before taking calls.

Quiet on the headset. For the next passenger over, your barking into a cell phone is worse than any bite. Keep your carpool conversation quiet and brief. 

Good vibrations. Make use of the vibrate function. Setting your phone accordingly will spare your colleagues the disruption and save you the embarrassment of a ringing pant leg.

Citizens unite. Use your city’s airwaves for good. Emergency numbers like 911 receive more than 100,000 life-saving reports a day from cell phone users.