We have all been an unwitting captive audience during of a phone call in the aisles of the local Publix, the doctor’s office or even an elevator. Perhaps you’ve been privy to a conversation about an unknown rash or swelling, or a niece or nephew that recently entered rehab.

These awkward moments don’t have to be awkward if everyone remembers their manners while using their cell phones.

So, in honor of July Cell Phone Courtesy Month, we’ve compiled a list of reminders for those that have a problem with hang-ups. In any case, be kind and remember the golden rule.

Silence is golden.     In any situation where your attention should be focused on someone else be it in a meeting, a parent-teacher conference, during a meal, and during a face-to-face conversation turn it silent, or better yet, turn it off.

Keep it down.      If you do have to continue a conversation remember to use your inside voice. It’s very easy to try and hear the other person on the phone when you are not sitting in a quiet location. We are all guilty of raising the volumes of our voices to compensate for background noise, just make sure it doesn’t reach deafening decibels.

Wrap it up.      Be aware of those around you while in public. In fact, if you are not under any time constraint, finish your conversation from the privacy of your vehicle (NOT WHILE DRIVING) or in your home. Or simply, step outside of the business, store or wherever you can finish up your call without everyone inadvertently eavesdropping. 

Ring a ding ding.      Thanks to the magic of technology cell phone users can make any song, favorite character or sound your ringtone. Just be cognizant of that when it starts ringing in public and the volume level.

Exceptions to the rule.   However, there ARE cases and emergencies where you DO need to take a call or are waiting for a call. Simply inform those around you and apologize in advance as you are expecting an important call back from a medical professional or even word back on a job interview. Most will understand that you have to excuse yourself for a very important phone call. Of course, medical professionals on call get a mulligan.