Texting and BlackBerry Etiquette – Kimberly Law

About a year ago three teenage cousins were invited by their grandparents to go out for dinner and then to a play. They all seemed excited about the activity until they arrived at the restaurant. After they arrived, two of the three girls received text messages. Instead of shutting off their cell phones and enjoying the company of their grandparents and each other,  they started text messaging their friends and each other. This left the grandparents and the third cousin sitting there feeling left out, annoyed and uncomfortable. At the theatre they continued text messaging throughout the play. Each time a text was received the phone would vibrate and the light came on, annoying the people around them. It was also embarrassing and insulting to the grandparents.

Unfortunately this is a commons story and it happens often. When it comes to cell phones and text messaging we often forget our manners and etiquette. We don’t consider how the people around us might feel. Think about the last time you were kept waiting while somone you were with had an non-important texting conversation.

Some people think that portable devices such as BlackBerry’s used for texting, emailing and planning your day follow different rules of etiquette then should be followed for chatting on a cell telephone. I think that most would agree they are generally less annoying then being forced to listen in on a cell phone conversation just because you happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. However, just because they are more private and less disruptive then cell phones it, doesn’t mean you should use them at anytime. Checking and responding to e-mail, text messaging or planning your day on a portable device during these times is just plain rude!

  • During a meeting, public event, lecture or in a classroom.
  • Restaurants. (Unless you are alone)
  • Places of worship, weddings & funerals.
  • In someone else’s home or office.
  • While socialising with others face-to-face.

When using any kind of electronic conversational device for texting, emailing or talking, consider the people around you and on the other end of the conversation.

Cell Phone Etiquette – By Kimberly Law AICI CIP

Cell phones are everywhere and used all the time. Over the past few years, cell phone use and misuse have gotten out of control. They can cause everything from general disturbances to road-rage. When it comes to mobile phones, be courteous to others and use a little common sense. Consider the following cell phone etiquette tips:

  • Keep cell phone calls quick and to the point.
  • Chat or text on cell phones when you are alone, not in public.
  • Quirky ring tones can be very annoying. When in a public place or business setting, set phones on silence, vibrate or use a traditional ring tone.
  • In a business setting, personal cell phones should be turned off.
  • Keep personal matters personal by having these discussions in private.
  • Don’t disturb people around you while talking on your mobile phone.  Keep your distance from other people while talking.
  • Don’t yell. Monitor the loudness of your voice and keep it at a low to moderate level.
  • Use hands free devices while driving, for your safety and to alleviate the aggravation of those driving next to you.

Cell phones should be turned off in the following circumstances:

  • During a meeting, public event, lecture or in a classroom.
  • Restaurants.
  • Places of worship, weddings & funerals.
  • While watching a movie, play, or musical event.
  • In someone else’s home or office.
  • Public transportation.
  • Hospitals.
  • Elevators.
  • Any time you may be disturbing others.


In the Toronto Sun today there is an article called Rules of dumb, has our high-tech evolution resulted in a lower standard of etiquette? It mentions a situation where a teacher took a cell phone away from a student and then read all of her saved text messages in front of the class. Obviously he did this out of frustration over the perceived lack of respect. However, were his actions more respectful? He obviously embarrassed the student.
Catherine Bell of Prime Impressions shares some great comments in this article on cell phones and technology from an etiquette perspective. When asked if the rules have changed, she says that the rules haven’t changed, but that people’s perceptions of them have changed and that is just as important. “The whole idea of civility and respect is wanting in all environments,” she says. “They’re throwing out the window the consideration for the people around them.”
So I guess the question is, whether consideration for the people around us is still important. Or has society evolved to a place where taking other people into consideration by using manners and etiquette is no longer important? And if so will this lead to a continuation of civilization as we know it or will it lead to chaos?

From my perspective as a certified image consultant and etiquette expert, it would seem that a society lacking in civility would be taking a step backward. Civility evolved over time to create order and respect in the lives of others and ours. However, lately I have seen examples of incivility everywhere. It is my personal belief that we need to get back to basics and consider before hand how our actions might affect others. Then act appropriately.

The Most Slimming Colour Combination

As an image consultant, clients often ask me how to wear colour in a way that will help them look slimmer.

The most slimming colour combinations are when dressing in monochromatic colour schemes: This colour scheme is created by dressing in one colour and its own variations A simple way of achieving this is by tinting (adding white), toning (adding grey or the colour’s opposite in the colour wheel, its complement on the colour wheel), or shading (adding black). This creates different values and intensities of the same colour. When worn, it is commonly known as “tone-on-tone” dressing.

When used in a wardrobe, monochromatic colour schemes have a slimming effect and can make the wearer look taller.

They also create a harmonious effect and make the wearer come across as elegant and refined.

The unfortunate thing about dressing in monochromatic colour schemes is that sometimes they can look boring. One way to remedie this is by accessorizing with jewellery or with an accessory such as a scarf that adds a small splash of another colour. This will create a focal point and draw attention and add interest. When using a focal point in your wardrobe, be aware of where your focal point is drawing the attention. I always recommend focal points close to the face. This will draw attention to your face and away from less flattering areas of the body.