SOURCE: Computerworld

July 12, 2007 10:06 ET

Nine New Deadly Cell Phone Sins Released -- Computerworld Poll Reveals Mobile Rudeness Still Very Common

"Butt Dialing" is Top Offender

FRAMINGHAM, MA--(Marketwire - July 12, 2007) - July may be "National Cell Phone Courtesy Month," but according to a recent report on Computerworld magazine (, cell phone etiquette hasn't improved much over the last several years. According to Computerworld, and a Web survey conducted by VitalSmarts, there are at least nine new deadly sins of cell phone use, of which butt dialing is one. That's the name given to unintentional dialing that occurs when keys are inadvertently pressed on cell phones stowed in pants pockets or purses.

The survey, conducted by VitalSmarts and reported in Computerworld, found that 91 percent of the respondents had recently suffered from technology-related public displays of insensitivity (PDI). Interestingly, 83 percent of the respondents claimed they never or rarely were guilty of committing a PDI. In other words, people are being rude and boorish with their cell phones and aren't aware of their own transgressions.

It's a rare person these days who doesn't have horror stories about loud, annoying or inappropriate cell phone use they've encountered in airports, hotel lobbies, even theaters and funerals. While many abuses, such as loud chattering, have been long discussed, newer abuses, such as butt dialing, are becoming common.

Here are the nine new deadly sins of mobile phone use reported by Computerworld.

1. Butt dialing

This sin is typically caused by people who don't understand issues such as how the "dial last number called" feature can be accidentally triggered. The recipient of a butt-dialed call typically hears background talk, the sound of clothes rustling or the contents of the purse jostling.

2. Aisle clogging

This sin occurs when people are clamoring to get off an airplane and somebody stands in the aisle and is focused on making a call, checking for voice messages, looking at e-mail or sending a text message. The result: Everybody behind the person is forced to wait.

3. Untoward braggadocio

This often takes the form of two or more people loudly comparing their phones in public. And, as mobile devices shrink, it often takes the form of "mine is smaller than yours."

4. Bad phone hygiene

There are two common manifestations of this problem. The first is lending a phone to someone and getting it back full of face-grease smudges. The second occurs when you lend your phone to somebody, who hands you it back to you and says something like, "I hope you don't catch my cold."

5. Bad headset denial

It's hardly a secret that it's difficult to hear some cell phone calls. Sometimes, the problem is just a bad connection. Other times, though, a person's headset is either poorly positioned so that it rubs against the person's jaw, creating a lot of noise or is too far away from the mouth. The problem: Some people will deny vociferously that their headset is at fault.

6. Inappropriate headset use

One form of this sin is that some people speak loudly while using a small headset. The result is that the sinner appears to be talking to himself. The second manifestation is wearing your headset when it isn't appropriate. Those two issues can come together in public restrooms.

7. Phone camera abuse

Because they are a potential security threat, many companies don't allow use of cameras in their facilities and won't buy camera phones for employees. In public, though, camera phones turn everybody into potential paparazzi and can be a source of significant discourtesy.

8. Crunchy calling: Eating and talking

This sin is similar to using your phone while in the bathroom in that it results in the person you are talking with hearing your body at work.

9. Public speakerphoning

Sometimes, speaking obnoxiously loudly isn't enough for cell phone sinners: They need you to hear both sides of the conversation, so they'll put on their speakerphone in public. A related sin is loud, public push-to-talk sessions.

For the full article on the nine deadly sins of cell phone use visit:

About Computerworld

Computerworld is the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers worldwide. Computerworld's award-winning Web site (, weekly publication, focused conference series and custom research form the hub of the world's largest (40+ edition) global IT media network. In the past five years alone, Computerworld has won more than 100 awards, including Folio Magazine's 2006 Gold EDDIE Award for the best technology/computing magazine, the 2004 and 2006 Magazine of the Year Award, and 2006 Best Overall Web Publication from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In addition, in 2007 Computerworld's editor-in-chief Don Tennant received the prestigious Timothy White Award from American Business Media. Computerworld leads the industry with an online audience of over 2 million unique monthly visitors and a print audience of 1,252,000 readers each week (IntelliQuest CIMS Fall 2006).

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