I don't often answer my mobile phone. There are a few rerasons for this. For one thing, I don't have millions of phone numbers stored in my phone and I won't answer the phone at all unless it displays the caller name rather than a number.
My phone is set to silent/vibrate most of the time anyway. I can see who has been calling, I can read text messages and, since I can read my e-mail on my phone as well, check mail every hour or so when I'm around and about during the day. I did have the phone set to work like a Blackberry and but it was a waste of time since I can't be bothered to look at e-mail every five minutes.
This may sound like a Vodafone Victor Meldrew in the making, but I think it's modern etiquette and I'm a trailblazer. I don't ring someone unless a I really need to talk to them: phoning people is impolite, because you are disturbing them when they are doing something else -- thinking about something or maybe talking to someone -- but most of the people I talk to work in the same field as me: there are never any truly important messages (the liver is ready for transplant, that sort of thing). If I have a tolerably urgent message for someone or need a quick yes/no response on something, then I text them. I found out how to create text templates on my phone so I can do this quickly, and I if someone whose number I don't recognise phones me, then I can quickly send back a text asking them to leave a message or e-mail or whatever.
And the most golden rule of all: never, ever, answer the phone when you are sitting on a train. No-one is impressed by mobile phones anymore so they will all think that you are a tosser. Is that how you want to be remembered? I'm going to start a YouTube album called "SWTossers" where people can send pictures (taken with their camera phones) of people talking on the phone in South West Trains carriages so that they can be universally reviled and abused on a grand scale and henceforth excluded from polite society.
The voices may not be real, but they do have some good ideas.
[posted with ecto]
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