In the not so distant past, the only forms of long-distance communication were telegrams, telephone, and letter writing. Now most of our communication is done by telephone and cell phone. We pick up a landline or cell phone more times a day that we probably realize. So etiquette now extends to the manner in which you represent yourself over the phone.
1. Don't forget to give your name. When calling another person, be sure to say what your name is. However, when answering a phone call not related to business, it is not necessary to give your name.
2. Be careful of the tone of your voice. The person on the other end of the phone does not have the benefit of seeing your facial expressions or body language to know your exact mood. Therefore, it is important to communicate properly through your tone.
3. Focus on your call. It is easy to let things around us distract us from the phone call. Usually the person you are talking to can detect if you are engaged in something else, and it can make them feel like they are unimportant.
4. Speak clearly and not too fast. Speaking too quickly can cause your listener confusion in person but especially on the phone when they cannot read your lips. Never eat or chew while you are on the phone.
5. Cell phones. Remember when you are at someone's home that it is very rude to text or call other people constantly. It gives the impression that you would rather be elsewhere and that the present company is not adequate to please you. If it is necessary for you to send a message or make a call for business or communication, then it is okay to do so. But remember to be sensitive to your hosts.
6. Taking a message. If someone calls and asks to speak to someone else in your household, respond with courtesy: "Yes, hold on just one second." If they are not available: "She/he is not available right now. May I take a message?" or "She/he is busy right now. May I have her call you back?"
7. Respect. As the basis for etiquette, remember to use respect in all phone situations and communications.
These are just a few tips to help us all as we attempt to maintain etiquette in a world of electronic communication.