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Abstract and Figures

There has been tremendous growth in the cellular telephone industry in recent years. This evolving technology has given rise to concerns over the social rules of etiquette governing cellphone usage behaviour. The present study was undertaken to better understand the perceptions of cellphone usage propriety among one of the most important target markets for cellphone products – young adults attending college. Data were collected from a total of 383 cellphone consumers residing in geographically diverse regions of the United States. Overall, the results indicated a high degree of agreement among respondents as to appropriate and inappropriate situations for cellphone usage. Respondents considered inappropriate situations for cellphone usage to include during worship/church, during class, in a library and in a movie theatre during a movie. Respondents considered it to be appropriate to use cellphones while on public transportation, in a supermarket, and to use a hands-free set while driving. Specific differences were found as a function of geographic regions, gender and employment status.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Cellular
phone
etiquette
among college
students
Thomas
J.
Lipscomb
t
,
Jeff
W.
Totten
1
,
Roy
A.
Cook
2
and
William
Lesch
3
‘Department
of
Marketing and
Finance.
Southeastern
Louisiana
University,
Hammond,
LA,
USA
2
School
of
Business
Administration,
Fort
Lewis
College,
Durango.
CO.
USA
3
University
of
North
Dakota,
Marketing
Department,
Grand
Forks,
ND,
USA
Keywords
Cellular
phones,
enquette,
social
norms,
interpersonal
communication.
Correspondence
William
Lesch,
PhD,
University
of
North
Dakota,
Marketing
Department.
P0
Box
8366,
Grand
Forks,
ND
58202-8366,
USA.
E-mail:
William.lesch@und.nodak.edu
doi: 10.11
1/1.1470-6431.2005.00483
x
Introduction
There
has
been
tremendous
growth
in
the
cellular
telephone
industry
in
recent
years.
This
evolving
technology
has
given
rise
to
concerns
over
the
social rules
of
etiquette
governing
cellphone
usage
behaviour,
The
present
study
was
undertaken
to
better understand
the
perceptions
of
cellphone
usage
propriety
among
one
of
the
most
important
target markets
for
cellphone
products
young
adults
attending
college. Data
were
collected
from
a
total
of
383
cellphone consumers
residing
in
geographically
diverse regions
of
the
United
States. Overall,
the
results
indicated
a
high
degree
of
agreement
among
respondents
as
to
appropriate
and
inappropriate
situations
for
cellphone
usage.
Respondents considered
inappropriate situations
for
cellphone
usage
to
include during
worship/church,
during
class,
in
a
library
and
in
a
movie
theatre
during
a
movie.
Respondents
considered
it
to
be
appropriate
to
use
cellphones
while
on
public
transportation,
in
a
supermarket,
and
to
use
a
hands-free
set
while
driving.
Specific
differences
were
found
as a
function
of
geographic
regions.
gender
and
employment
status.
The
cellular
telephone
industry
has
experienced tremendous
growth
in
recent
years. The
industry
remains
extremely
competi
tive
even
in
the face
of
recent
consolidation
[e.g.
the
2004
acquisi
tion
of
AT
&
T
Wireless
by
Cingular
Wireless
and the
proposed
merger
of
Sprint
and
Nextel
(Twiddy.
2005)].
To
remain
competi
tive.
providers along
the
supply chain need
an
understanding of
consumer
behaviour,
including
aspects
of
normative
etiquette
issues
involved
with
usage
of
their
cellphones
by
their
customers.
This
paper
presents
the
results
of
an
exploratory
study
of
cell-
phone
etiquette
among
a
heavy-use group,
collegiate
adults.
Literature
review
Industry
background
Cellular/mobile
telephones emerged
in
the
early
l970s,
though
their
developmental
roots
go
back
to
the
l930s. Frequency
modu
lation (FM)
was
created
for radio
broadcasting
in
1935
and World
War
11
prompted
the
US
government
and
businesses
like
Motorola
and
General
Electric
to
focus research
on
improving mobile
tech
nology.
It
took
over
20
years
before Motorola
was
able
to
intro
duce
the
first
cellular
service mobile
phone
in
1973
(for
a
history
of
mobility.
see
Levinson.
2004
and
Ling.
2004).
Gartner
reported
that
674
million mobile phones
were sold
worldwide
in
2004.
a
29.6%
increase
from
2003’s 520
million
units and
it
was
predicted
that
2005
sales
would
reach
730
million
units
worldwide
(Maxon,
2005).
Another
research
company,
IDC,
predicted
that
there
would
be
nearly
1.7
billion
active
wireless subscribers
around
the
world
in
2005
(‘IDC
Forecasts’.
2005).
Cellular
phones
have
become
smaller
over
the
course
of
their
product
life
cycle.
The
first
mobile phones
in
use
in
the
early
I
980s
were
about
the size
of
a
small
briefcase.
‘Today’s
phones
are
objects
d’art,
smaller
than
a
pack
of
cigarettes, offered
in
a
rain
bow
of
colours,
and
chock-full
of
features’
(Copeland
et at.,
2003,
p.
66).
Consumers
have
had
a
number
of
features
to
choose
from:
ring tones,
browsers,
wireless cameras,
instant
messaging,
stream
ing
video,
mobile music,
push-to-talk (walkie-talkie),
television
clip
playing,
college
entrance exam
preparati’on
review,
over-the-
air
music
downloads
and
full-length
novels
(see
‘Firm
reveals’,
2002: Stern.
2002:
Chmielewski,
2003:
Gunch,
2003;
Malik,
2003:
Moore.
2003:
‘Music
industry’,
2003;
Pringle,
2003a.b;
Wildstrom, 2003a,b; Mossberg, 2004a,b; Fitzgerald,
2005;
Kageyama.
2005).
In
a
November
2003
random telephone
survey
of
over
1500
adults
and
teenagers,
the
Lemelson-MET Invention
Index
‘found
that
among adults asked
what
invention
they
hate
most
but
can’t
live
without,
30
percent
said the cell phone’
(Emery,
2004.
p.
C-I).
More
is
still
to
come: mobile phones
may even
be
used
as
credit
cards
in
the
near future (Crockett.
2005).
Nokia
and
others
are
working
on
a
new
generation
of
hybrid
hones
that
combine
PDA
tunctions.
camera
imaging. music and
wlreles%
Internet
capabilities,
all no
bigger
than
an
Apple
iPod®
(Kim.
2005).
International
Journal
of
Consumer
Studies
ISSN 1470.6431
Abstract
ti
p
I
46
nternatioral
Journal
of
Consumer
Studies
©
2005
Blackwell
Publishing
Ltd
T.J.
Lipscomb
eta!
The mobile phone
product
that has
really
‘clicked’ with
users
is
the
camera
phone.
It
was
predicted
in
2002
that
wireless
camera
phones
would
outsell digital
still
cameras
by
2004
(Mawston.
2002).
Over
215
million
camera
phones were
sold
across
the
world
in
2004,
easily
exceeding
digital
camera
sales.
According
to
Future
Image’s
Mobile
Imaging
Report.
camera
phone
unit
sales
will
exceed
300
million
in
2005.
compared
with
85
million
digital
cameras (Paterson,
2005).
Worldwide
sales
of
camera phones
are
expected
to
post
compound
growth
rates
of
55%
from
2004
through
2008
on
an
annualized
basis
(‘Camera
Phone
Sales’,
2004).
In
2004,
roughly
28%
of
all
phones shipped
worldwide
had
cameras,
and
it
is
expected
that
46%
of
2005
shipments
will have
cameras
(Hughlett,
2005,
p.
10).
A
2004 survey
of
35
000
Short
Message Service (SMS)
users across
the
world revealed that
85%
preferred
to
take
a
camera
phone
over
a
digital
phone
on
their
next
vacation
(‘Camera
Phones
Can
Give’, 2004).
The
camera phone
has
also
led to
growth
in
the
blog
world
as
‘mobloggers,’
mobil
bloggers.
post
their
pictures
on
the
Web
(Baker,
2005,
p.
90).
ReLcently,
the top
four
US
mobile phone
service providers
(Cingu
lar..Verizon.
Sprint
and
T-Mobile)
announced agreements
that
will
allow
subscribers
to
send
messages
with
camera
phone photos or
video snippets
to
each
other,
regardless
of
which
provider
services
the
phone
(Charny,
2005).
Celiphone
usage
More
and
more
Americans
are
eliminating
traditional
landline
telephones
in
favour
of
celiphones
(see
Cheng,
2005).
Approxi
mately
7.5
million
Americans
have
done
so,
as
celiphones
repre
sented around
43%
of
all
phones
in
service
in
the
US
in
2003
(up
from
37%
in
2000).
According
to
a
survey
by
a
San
Diego
market
ing
research
firm,
about
50%
of
those
households responding
said
they
would stop
using landline
phones
if
the
price
of
wireless
service
were
right (Carroll,
2003;
also
see
Kawamoto,
2002).
According
to
a
2005
survey
by
Harris
Interactive,
11%
of
adults
in
the
US
now
use
wireless phones
exclusively.
Lower
prices
and
better
coverage
would
be
incentives that
might
get
landline
users
to
switch
in
the
future
(‘Nearly
One
in
Ten’.
2005).
Telephia
found
that
new
cellphone customers
tended
to
be
young
adults,
who
are
also
the
customers
most
likely
to
choose
celiphones
over landline
phones.
‘The
Yankee
Group
found
that
12%
of
US
18-
to
24-year-
olds
have
cut
the
cord,
compared
with
just
4%
of
those
aged
over
24
who
have
abandoned their
landline’
(Greenspan.
2003).
At
the
end
of
2004,
it
was
estimated
that
180
million
Americans
were
subscribers
and
had
talked
a
total
of
1.1
trillion
minutes.
up
one-
third
from
the
end
of
2003
(Van,
2005).
Profiles
of
use and
users
According
to
the
International
Telecommunications
Union
(ITU),
there
were
approximately
1.405
million
cellular
mobile
subscrib
ers
in
the
world
in
2003,
representing
55.1%
of
all
telephone
subscriptions worldwide.
On
a
per
100
inhabitants
measure,
the
continent of
EUrope
had
the
highest
adoption
rate
in
2003,
59.19
mobile
subscriptions
per
100
people.
Oceania
had the
second
highest
rate,
54.46
per
100
people.
Africa
had
the
lowest, 6.18
subscriptions
per
100
people.
and
the
United
States,
by
itself,
had
54.58
subscriptions
per
100
people.
By
comparison,
the
world
wide rate
was
22.92
mobile
subscriptions
per
100
inhabitants
Celiphone
etiquette
among
college
students
(ITU.
2005).
The
price
of
mobile phone
units
is
the
biggest
hin
drance
to
the
technology’s
adoption
in
India
and
parts
of
Africa
(‘Calling
an
end’.
2005.
p.
51).
Black
and
minority
ethnic people
are
predicted
to
he
the
hot
target
market for
cellphone
usage
growth.
A
study
by
Parks
Asso
ciates
of
Dallas
found
that
3l%
of
African
Americans
and
14%
of
Latinos
plan
to
purchase celiphones
by
2004.
vs.
10%
for
Cauca
sians. Also,
people
of
colour
were more
likel
to
replace
their
cellphones
at
a
higher
rate than the
typical
consumer
tCole.
2003:
also
see
Fattah.
2003).
The
Yankee
Group ‘estimates that
80%
of
Americans
ages
IS—
65
have
a
wireless
phone,
and
about
55%
of
those
13—17
do’
(Melendez,
2005,
p.
C-I).
The
NPD
Group
‘finds
that
22%
of
those
9
to
11
have
phones’
(Melendez,
2005.
p.
C-I).
and
NOP
World
Technology ‘estimates
14%
of
10-
and
11
-year-olds
do’
(Melendez,
2005,
p.
C-5).
The
outcome
is
that
consumers
are
tending
to
treat
wireless
communication
as
a
utility,
leading
to
an
increase
in
aggressive
competition
among wireless
carriers
(‘US
mobile market’.
2003).
Research
on
the
social
impact
of mobile
phones
An
AT
&
T
engineer
named Harold
S.
Osborne
made
a
startling
prediction
in
the
early
1950s:
‘mobile
telephony
would
eventuall)
allow
us
ubiquitous access
via
small
portable
devices
(Ling.
2004,
p.
4).
While Osborne’s
vision
of
a
video
component
hasn’t
quite
been
achieved, most
of
what
he
predicted
has: and, as
a
result,
we
have seen
social
consequences
develop.
As
more
people
adopted
mobile phones
across
the
world,
sociologists
and
other
researchers
started observing
and
documenting
changes
that
mobile technology
use
was
creating
on
social
and
family
networks.
The
Internet
and
the
mobile
phone
have
allowed
us
to
create
what Levinson
(2004)
refers
to
as
‘mobile hearths’.
a
nest
of
communications
(p.
47).
The mobile
phone
is
the
‘epitome
of
mobility
in
media’
as
it
‘allows
both
reception
(like
the
book
..
and
production
(like
the
Kodak
camera)’,
instantaneously, over
long
distances,
and
interactively (Levinson.
2004.
p.
52).
Conse
quently,
our
lives have
been
greatly affected
in
both
positive
and
negative
ways.
Mobile phones
are
viewed
with scorn
as
an
intru
sion
in
society, yet
these
devices
offer
us
security.
safety.
accessi
bility
and
other
benefits (Ling,
2004,
p.
4).
One might argue
that
‘mobile
phones
pit
the
priorities
of
the
‘in’
group
those
on
the
phone
against
those
in
the
‘out’
group. or
people
in
close
prox
imity
to
the
talkers’
(Belson.
2004).
Some
see the
possibility
of
spur-of-the-moment
business
or
casual
meetings
(‘approximeet
ings’) through
the use
of
mobile
phones
and
mobile
data services
that
allow one
to
find
where
other
people
are
in
a
building
or
surrounding area
(Bender, 2004).
The rapid
adoption
of
mobile phone
technology
by
teenagers
and
young adults
has
been
studied
by
a
number of researchers.
including
Rich
Ling
and
his
associates
at
Telenor,
the
Norwegian
national
telephone company
(e.g.
see
Ling,
2001
a.b.
2002;
Thrane,
2003;
also
see
Rice
and Katz.
2003;
Wilska,
2003:
Haddon,
2004:
Dedeoglu.
2004).
Teenagers’
use
of
mobile
phones
also
set
off
a
debate
about
technology
and
the loss
of
social community,
45
noted
by
Quigley
(2005):
‘Young
people
are
utilizing
mobile
phone
technology
to
establish
and
maintain peer-based
social
networks
at
a
time when
theorists
are
debating
technology’s role
in
the
International
Journal
of
Consumer Studies
©
2005
Blackwell
Publishing
Ltd
Celiphone
etiquette
among
college
students
T.J.
Lipsuomb
et
al.
apparent
loss
of
community’
(p.
159).
Some
sociologists
and
other
theorists
have
argued
that
a
person’s
sense
of
community
is
gener
ally
bound
to
a
physical
location
and
thought
to
be
public,
not
private.
They
argue that
technologies
like
computers
and
mobile
phones
‘destroy’
physical
space,
and
thus
community,
and the
specialness
of
space
by
breaking
down
the
wall
between
what’s
public
and what’s
private (Quigley.
2005.
pp.
160—161).
Quigley
(2005) argues
that
‘[tjeenagers’
use
of
mobile
phones involves
communication
with
peers
who
are
both
geographically
present
and
absent,
comprising
established
social networks
as
well as
the
forging
of
new
ones’
that
she
calls
‘mobile youth
communities’
(p. 163).
Prior
research
into
this
area
of
debate
has
been
conducted
by.
among others.
Palen
et
at.
(2000).
Ling
(200
Ic).
Campbell
and
Russo
(2003).
Bergvik
(2004Land
Geser
(2004).
The
focus
of
this
research
has
brought
light
to
the
issues
of
mobile
phone intrusion
into social
interaction
and
forced
eavesdropping
(Ling, 200
Ic.
pp.
1—2).
Geser
(2004)
concluded
that.
sincemobile
phones
have
undermined
social
mechanisms
that
keep public space
separate
from
private
space.
the
‘demand for
social
control
will
rise’
because
individual
behaviour
must
now
be
controlled
(p.
41).
Celiphone
etiquette
As
cellphones
have
become more
ubiquitous.
so
have
concerns
about
usage
proprieties
and privacy
issues
(e.g. see
commentaries
by
Baylot.
2004:
Goodman.
2004a:
Ryan.
2004;
Lind, 2005;
Peppo.
2005:
also
se
Persson.
2001
for public
usage
examples
collected
through
eavesdropping). What
are
the rules
of
social
etiquette
for
cllphone
usage?
Are
young adults
aware
of
these
rules? What
are
their
attitudes
toward
these rules?
In
which
situa
tions
or locations
might
cellphones
be
used?
Where should
cell-
phones
not
be
used?
Not
surprisingly.
celiphone
etiquette
advice
is
occurring
in
academic textbooks, popular
press
books
and
on
the
Internet
(e.g.
see
Brantley
and Miller.
2003:
Cohen.
2003:
Krotz.
2003:
‘Miss
Manners’.
2003:
Morrison.
2003:
Pachter
and
Magee,
2004:
Cook
et
at..
2005). However,
according
to
Carol
Page,
one
ot
the
online
advice-givers.
‘We
are
only
at
the
very
beginning
of
an
elaboration
of
the
manners
that
are
appropriate’
(Shapiro,
2003.
p.
E-2).
Rutgers
professor James
Katz
reports
finding
incidents
of
fake
calls
among
his
students. Reasons
included avoiding
contact
with
others,
impressing others,
not
appearing
to
be
lonely,
or
checking
out
members
of
the
opposite
gender
(Harmon.
2005).
A
UK
study
commissioned
by
Siemens
Communications
investi
gated business
etiquette
in
the
digital
age
and
revealed
a
new
version
of
Seasonal
Affectiveness
Disorder
(SAD): ‘workplace
Stress.
Anger
and Distrnction’
(House.
2005,
pp.
10—Il).
A
2002
study
by
Public
Agenda
found that
cellphone
usage
was
one
indicator
of
a
general increase
in
rudeness
in
American
society
(Farkas
and
Wadsworth.
2002).
Walkie-talkie phones,
with
the
‘push-to-talk’ feature,
are
becoming
popular.
adding
to
aural
‘noise’
as
phones
chirp
each time
one
side
of
a
conversation
begins
and the
other
side
ends.
Some
service
providers
now give
custom
ers
suggestions
about proper push-to-talk.
such
as
turning
the
speaker
volume down
or
turning
the
speaker
off
and
holding
the
phone
to
the
ear
in
certain
situations.
For
example.
Nextel
has had
an
etiquette
section
on
its
web site
for
two
years
(Saranow.
2003).
Sprint
offers
tips from
etiquette expert
Jacqueline
Whitmore
on
its
web
site
(‘Consumer
Tips’.
2004).
Levinson
says that
itJhere
are
three
kinds
of
places.
when
it
comes
to
the
wrongness
of
cell
Internation&
Journal
of
Consumer
Studies
phones:
never wrong
[e.g.
alone
in
your
offlcej, always wrong
[e.g.
funerals],
and
sometimes
wrong
[e.g.
restaurants]’ (Levinson.
2004,
p.
80).
‘In
the
great
debate
about celiphone etiquette.
some
of
the
early
turf
battles
seem
to
be
settled’,
with
movie
theatres.
funerals
and
libraries
being
declared
‘off
limits’, while
most
pub
lic
transit
systems
are
deemed
‘acceptable’.
Restaurants
fall
in
the
middle.
But
‘unsettled
territory’
is
the
workplace
(Leland,
2005).
A
2004
survey
of
human
resource managers
by
the
Society
for
Human
Resource Management (SHRM)
found
‘that
40%
of
their
companies
had
formal
policies
governing cellphone
use
at
work’
(Leland.
2005).
Rebecca Hastings.
the
SHRM
information centre
director,
sees
mobile
phones
as
being
the
‘cigarettes’
of
the
current
decade
and
advises
that
gadgets.
like
one’s
dress,
need
to
be
managed
for
success
(Leland.
2005).
Schools, universities, courtrooms,
libraries,
restaurants
and
churches,
among others,
have
grappled
with the
proper
use
of
cellphones.
With
the
growth
in
popularity
of
text
messaging
and
camera
phone features
(including
new
built-in
camcorders),
issues
for
schools
and
universities
now
include
privacy
and
academic
integrity
concerns
(e.g.
Mossberg.
2004c:
Roberts,
2004).
The
former
has also
emerged
in
courtrooms,
where television
cameras
are
often
not
allowed
(e.g.
Roberts,
2004).
Public safety
concerns
have
been
raised
to
the level
of
legislation
(e.g.
Krotz. 2003),
as
cellphone
usage
contributes
to
traffic
accidents
(e.g. ‘Driven
to
distraction’.
2003:
Hafner
and
George.
2005;
Lundegaard
and
Drucker,
2005).
Hospitals
appear
to
be
lessening
restrictions
on
mobile
phone
use
(Rubenstein.
2005)
and
the
US
Federal
Commu
nications Commission
decided
in
late
2004
to
consider
lifting
the
ban
on
mobile
phones during
airline
flights,
prompting discussion
in
the
media
and
among
federal
officials
(e.g. see
Goodman,
2004b:
Schatz.
2005).
While
a
2002
study
commissioned
by
online
retailer
‘LetsTalk’
found
some improvement
in
cellphone etiquette
since
its
2000
study,
what
has
been
deemed
acceptable
usage
of
celiphones
in
cars (46%).
restaurants
(28%), public
transportation
(45%),
super
markets (53%)
and
movies/theatre
(6%)
all
dropped
from
their
2000
levels
(Press
Release.
2002).
The
study did
not
address
usage
in
libraries
or
in
houses of worship
(e.g. see
‘Library’. 2003).
Sprint
released
the
results
of
its
June
2004
online
survey
on
wire
less
etiquette
in
July.
Some 80%
said ‘people were
less
courteous
when using
a
wireless
phone
today
than
five
years
ago’.
Most
reported
turning their phones
off
‘when
in
public
places
of
a
professional. educational
or
cultural
nature
(i.e.
business
meetings,
classrooms,
hospitals, houses
of
worship
or
libraries)’,
but
tended
to
keep
their
phones
on
‘when
in
public places
of
a
more social
nature
(i.e.
party/family
celebration, sporting
venue,
public
transit
or
retail
environment)
(‘Sprint
Survey’.
2004;
also see
Bradley,
2005).
In a
recent
survey
of
mobile
phone users who
had
signed
up
for SMS
connections.
SMS.AC
asked, via
text
messaging,
‘Where
do
you
feel
MOST
strongly
that people should
NOT use
their
mobile phones?’
Over
half
of
the
41
000 plus
respondents
(5
1.82%)
answered
Church’.
20.2%
indicated
‘Hospital’.
and
17.05%
indicated
‘Movies’,
vs.
only
1.66%
for ‘Restaurant’
(‘Poll
Results’,
2004).
According
to
a
2005
University
of
Michigan
telephone
survey.
42%
of
the
752
adult
respondents
‘said
that
there
should
be
a
law
that
prohibits
people from
talking
on
cell
phones
in
public places
such
as
museums,
movies
or
restaurants’ (‘Cell
phone
survey’.
2005).
Examples
of
contextual
problems
associ
ated
with
cellphone
use
from
around
the
United
States
and the
wC
mc
Re
Re
phi
201
we
ser
do
set
nol
Ca
ca
Rh
cot
Wo
grc
rai
the
sur
the
ph
crii
20(
car
ph
reli
use
for
to
ph
pic
era
the
sig
gra
Wit
pri’
bas
pu)
Job
(Rc
use
slal
by
atta
sna
ma
w
Ac
ists
©
2005
Blackwell
Publishing
Ltd
;“-
“r”m’’-’.”
TJ,
Lipscomb
eta!.
Celiphone
etiquette
among
college
students
world
are
provided
below
(also
see
Pachter
and
Magee.
2004
for
more
examples).
Restaurants
Restaurant
owners
are
frustrated
with the
growing
use
of
cell-
phones
in
their dining
establishments
(e.g.
see
Bradley
and
Shaw,
2003).
A
survey
of
owners
indicated
that
57%
of
restaurant
guests
were
annoyed
by
celiphone
use,
an
activity that tends
to
slow
service time (Bryant. 2002).
A
new
social
phenomenon
has
been
documented: forced
eavesdropping
(‘Cell
phones
blur’,
2003:
also
see
Levinson.
2004,
pp.
8
1—83).
Dining
tables
on
cruise
lines are
not safe
any
more,
either
(Bialik.
2004).
Courtrooms, health
clubs,
privacy,
property
and
camera
phones
Ringing
cellphones
during
court trials
have
resulted
in
contempt
of
court
charges
for
,a
man and
a
policeman
in
India.
as
well as
a
woman
in
South
Carolina
(‘Ringing
cell
phone’,
2003).
With the
growth
of camera cellphones.
new
issues
of
proper
usage
are
being
raised. Health
clubs
and
courtrooms,
among others,
have
banned
their
usage
(Berman,
2003:
Berman et
al..
2003:
Roberts.
2004).
A
survey
of
over
6000
young adults
in
Japan
found
that
only
26%
thought that
‘digital
shoplifting’,
i.e.
using
camera cellphones
to
photograph,
stories
in
newspapers
that
have not
been paid
for,
is’
a
crime.
Only 60%
consider
it
to
be
immoral (‘Carnera’phone theft’.
2003).
Saudi
Arabia’s
religious authorities
have
banned
the use
of
camera phones after
numerous complaints
of
Saudi
women
being
photographed
.withot
their knowledge,
a
breach
of
Muslim’social/
religious customs
(Shihri, 2004; also
see
Kahn, 2005).
Security
concerns
have
also been raised.
Camera
phones
‘can
be
-
used for
surveillance
of
potential targets
of
attack,
prompting
foreign
embassies, government agencies
and
military bases
in
Asia
to
ban.visitors
or
even
staff
from
bringing
them
‘in’
(‘camera
phones
boost’, 2005).
Camera
phones
have
also been used
to
take
pictures
of
topless women
(Australia)
and oral’sex
(Iridia)
‘(‘Cam
era phones
boost’,
2005).
In
December
2004.
the
US
Senate
sent
the Video
Voyeurism
Prevention
Act
to
President
BOsh
for
his
signature. The
bill ‘would
make
it
a
crime
to
videotape
or
photo
graph
the
naked
or
underwear-covered
private parts
of
a
person
without
consent
when
the
person
has
a
reasonable
expectation
of
privacy’,
but
would
apply only
to
federal
jurisdictions
like
military
bases
and
national parks
(Holland,
2004,
p.
A-7).
Camera
phones.continued
to
be
in
the news,
as
thousands
of
pilgrims used
their
phones
to
quickly
snap
pictures
of
the
late
Pope
John
Paul
H
as he
lay
in
state
in
St
Peter’s
Basilica
in
April
2005
(Rosenthal,
2005).
Mobile
phones
have
also been
reported being
used
in
Great Britain
as
part
of
bullying techniques
called
‘happy
slapping’,
where
children
were
filmed being
randomly
attacked
by
bullies
(‘Techno-bullying’,
2005).
Shortly
after
the
terrorist
attacks
on
London’s
subways
in
July,
a
few
grainy digital
pictures
snapped
by
cllphone
owners
on
the
subways after
the
explosion,
made
their
way
to
British
television networks
(BaudCr.
2005):
While
driving
A
controversial
issue with
legislators,
cellphone
users
and
motor
ists
is
the
use
of
cellphones
while
driving.
Are
cellphones
a
dis
traction for drivers?
Is
cellphone
usage
as
dangerous
as
eating
in
the
car
or tuning
a
radio?
At
the
least,
policy
decisions
are
mixed.
Some states
have
banned
the
use
of
hand-held cellphones.
while
others
are
considering
it.
Some
even
consider
the
use
of
hands-free
cellphones
as
a
danger
on
the
expressway
(e.g.
see
Martin. 2002:
‘Driven
to
distraction’.
2003:
Durbin.
2003:
Goldman.
2003:
Karr.
2003:
Sanchez,
2003.
Drucker
and
Lundegaard.
2004:
Levinson.
2004,
pp.
8—9.
173).
‘In
2002.
about
41
state
governments
were
considering
propos
als
to
restrict
or
ban the
use
of
cell
phones while
driving,
up
from
27
in
2000.
Unnecessary
mobile talk
is
increasingly
fatal
even
when
carried
on
hands-free’ (Krotz.
2003).
A
2003 study
in
Risk
Analysis
reported
that
‘use
of
cell
phones
while
driving
may
increase
the
number
of
crashes
by
about
6%’
(‘A
known risk’.
2004,
p.
8).
Six
states,
including Colorado.
Connecticut
and
Ten
nessee,
‘adopted
laws
this
year
requiring
young
drivers
to
keep
their
cell
phones
turned
off
while
theyre
behind
Uie
wheel’
(Craig,
2005.
p.
1A;
also
see
Tanner.
2005).
According
to
a
2005
Univer
sity
of
Michigan
study.
over
‘80%
agree:
that
cell
phones
are
a
major
safety hazard when used
while
driving
and
almost
90% said
a
police officer should
indicate
on
accident reports
whether
drivers
were using
‘cell
phones
at
the
time
of
the crash’ (‘Cell
phone
survey’,
2005):
The
insurance
Institute
for
Highway’
Safety
reported
in
the
latest
issue
of
the
British
Medical
Journal
that
‘[dirivers
using
cellular
phones
are
four
times
as
likely
to
get into
a
crash
that
ëan
cause
injuries serious enough
to
send them
to
the
hospital’
(Thomas,
2005,
p.
2A).
Public
schools
There
is
some debate
about
whether
children
need
to
have
cell-
phones. Some
have been
caught
using them
to
cheat
at
school
via
text
messaging.
The
Cellular Telecommunications
&
Internet
Association
(CTIA)
considers
‘cell
phone
use
by
children,
like
nutritional decisions,
are
best left
to
parents’
(Louderback,
2003.
p.
4).
Some
school
systems
are
being
more lenient
about
the
use
of
cellphones
in
public
schools,
though
the
debate
‘ontinues
(‘Cells
ring’.
2003;
WaIler.
2003a,b:
Wong, 2003).
The debate
intensified
in
2005
after
the
release
of
a
statement
by
a
British health official,
Sir William Stewart.
chairman of
the
National Radiological
Pro
tection Board.
He
stated
that
‘making
cellphones
available
to
children
ages
‘3—8
was
‘unjustified’.
..He
added
that
children
between
the
ages
of
9
and
14
should
place
only
brief
calls
on
mobile handsets
to
limit
exposure
to
radiation’
since
their brains
wei’e
stillin
the
developmental
stage
(Blankenship.
2005:
Pringle
and
Grant.
2005).
Universities
A’
Mexican university
has
passed
academic
legislation
forbidding
the
use
of
cellphones
and
other electronic
devices
in
the
clas’room
other
than
for
education purposes,
and
students
can
be
asked
to
leave the
classroom
if
theircellphones
ring
(Wise. 2003).
‘Profes
sors
have begun
to
include
mobile phone
etiquette
not only
in
their
syllabus
‘but
also
in
their
first-day
orientation’
(Gunter.
2001).
‘Students.
realize
that
teachers
don’t
appreciate
phones ringing
in
class,
and
usually
try
to
accommodate
for
classroom
situations’
(Prevot.
2000;
also
see
Edwards.
2002). ‘Ringing
phones
often
disrupt
classes
or library time’,
.yet.
‘students
view the
phones
as
a
International
Journal
of
Consumer
Studies
49
©
2005
Blackwell
Publishing
Ltd
Celiphone
etiquette among
college
students
necessity’
(Rosemeyer.
2002).
A
small
survey
on
University
of
Texas
students
showed
that
about
4l%
of
the
students
who
responded
have
had
their
phones
ring
in
class
(Moore
er
at..
2002).
Many
universities
are
banning
cellphones
from
classrooms,
espe
cially
those
with
text
messaging
and
camera features,
in
order
to
keep students
from
cheating during
exams (Batiste,
2004;
‘Lesson
no.
I’,
2004:
Roberts,
2004).
One
student
editor
had this
to
say
about
a
proposed
ban
on
his
campus:
‘A
professor
works hard
on
a
lecture,
you pay
good
money
to
hear
it
and
everyone’s
supposed
to
endure
some
jackass
with
no
respect? Just
wait.
The
day when
a
teacher
goes
buck-wild
and
starts
dropkicking
kids
out
of
their
seats
is
coming’
(Hudson.
2005.
p.
3).
Summary
This
review
has
briefly
traced
the
technological
evolution
of
mobile
phones.
briefly
addressed
the
social
impact
of
mobile
tech
nology,
and
explored
areas
of
concern regarding
the
proper
eti
quette
for
mobile
technology. The
authors
found
numerous
studies
of
mobile
phone social
behaviour
and
usage among
the
early
adopters
of
the
neweSt
forms
of
cellphone technology,
teenagers
and
young
adults.
While
several
studies
were
found that focused
on
the
etiquette
issue, none
were found that
focused specifically
on
college
students.
The
research
findings
discussed
in
the
remainder
of
this
study
contributes
to
the
understanding
of
college students’
mobile
phone
etiquette.
Methodology
In
the
preliminary
stages
of
this
research,
several
groups
of
stu
dents
(n
=
25—40
each)
at
a
mid-sized
state-supported
university
in
the
south-east participated
in
open
discussions concerning
their
usage
of
mobile
phones.
The result
of
these focus groups
(con
ducted
in
spring
2003).
provided
the
basis
for the
development
of
the
survey
instrument.
This
questionnaire
was
pretested
among
approximately
30
students
and
minor changes
resulted.
A
cover
letter
was
then
developed
and
included
with the
questionnaire
in
a
research
package that
was
subsequently
approved
by
the
univer
sity’s
Institutional
Review Board
(IRB).
Colleagues
in
geographically
representative sections
of
the
country
(West
Coast.
Mountain. Midwestern.
South-western
and
Eastern
Seaboard)
distributed
the
research
packages
at
their
uni
versities. Meanwhile,
the two lead
authors
proceeded
to
collect
approximately
200
responses
at
their
university
in
the
south-east
from mid-April
to
mid-June
2003.
This
was an
exploratory
study
based
on
a
convenience
sample.
therefore
subject
to
inherent
limi
tations
and
affecting data analysis
methods
and
subsequent
conclusions.
Research
questions
Exploratory
areas
of
inquiry
in
this
study
included
the
frequency
of
cellphone
use.
situations
and
locations
of
use,
factors
affecting
use,
and
appropriateness
of
use
(i.e.
cellphone
etiquette). Although
extensive data
were
collected,
the focus
of
this
paper
is
on
general
patterns
of
cellphone
usage
etiquette.
Etiquette-areas
of
investiga
tion
included
in
this
study
were:
• How
does one
generally characterize
attitudes
toward
cellphone
etiquette
among
young adults? Which
specific
celiphone
uses are
T.J.
Lipscomb
eta!.
considered
to
be
appropriate
among this
age
cohort?
Which
are
considered
to
be
inappropriate?
Are
differences
in
normative
behaviour
associated
with
demo
graphic
status
of
the
users?
What
are
the
associated
marketing implications
from
these
find
ings
for
the
domestic
market?
Results
Profile
of
respondents
A
total
of
383
students completed
the
survey
at
four
higher
educa
tion
institutions
in
Colorado.
Connecticut. Louisiana
and
North
Dakota.
Item
non-response
ranged
from
zero
to
31.
The
respon
dents were relatively evenly
split
in
terms
of
gender.
with
three
more
women
respondents
than men
(50.4%
vs.
49.6%,
n
=
365).
Respondents’
ages
ranged
from
18
to
57
(n
=
359).
and
averaged
26.55
years,
with
a
median
of
23
years
and
a
mode
of
21
years.
In
terms
of
marital status,
253
respondents
(69.1%.
n
=
366)
were
single,
and
never
previously
married,
whereas
94
(25.7%)
indi
cated
they
were married. Almost four-fifths
of
those
who
responded
had
no
children
(284.
79.1%.
n
=
359).
Thirty-seven
students (10.3%)
had
one
child.
Almost
one-third
of
respondents
(31.6%) were
marketing
majors.
while
another
63
(17.5%) were
management
majors.
Graduate
students (12.7%)
and
general
business
majors
(11.1%)
comprised
the next
largest
groups. Most
of
the
respondents
were
employed
either
part-time
(46.6%,
n
=
365)
or
full-time
(42.5%).
Over
half
of
the
respondents
(54.3%,
n
=
383)
were
from
the
Louisiana
university, while
over
a
fourth
(27.2%) were
from
the
Connecticut
university.
Analysis
of
etiquette
questions
Students
were
asked
to
indicate their
level
of
agreement
or
dis
agreement
for
10
statements concerning
the
appropriateness
ot
cellphone
usage
in
certain
specific
situations
using
a
Likert-tYPe
5-point
rating
scale.
Situations included
driving
(hand-held
and
hands-free),
worship/church,
classroom, restaurant,
library,
pub
lic
transportation.
bathroom,
supermarket
and movie
theatie
(during
a
movie).
Half
the
statements
were
stated
in
a
positive
manner
(e.g.
‘It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell phone
while driving.’),
and
half
were stated
in
a
negative
manner
(e.g.
‘It
is
inappropriate
to use
a
cell
phone
during
a
class.)
Descriptive statistics
for
the
10
statements
are
provided
m
Table
I.
For
the
purpose
of
this
exploratory
analysis.
items
tOi
which there
was
a
mean
score
in
excess
of
the
scale
midpoint
ot
3
will
be
considered
to
indicate
agreement; those
receivIng
a
mean score
less
than
3
will
be
considered
to
indicate
disagree
ment
and
those
near
the
midpoint
will be
considered
to
indicate
neither agreement
nor disagreement.
As
indicated
in
Table
I.
respondents considered
the following settings
to
be
inapProP°’
ate
for
using
a
cellphone:
during
worship/church
(M
4.635k
during
a
class
(m4.5l4).
in
a
Library
(M=4.085)
and
in
a
movie
theatre during
a
movie (reverse
stated.
M
1.956).
TheY
considered
it
appropriate
to
use
a
hands-free
cellphofle
whie
trafl
driving
(M
4.098).
to
use
a
cellphone
while
on
public
portation
(M
=
3.768) and
in
a
supermarket
(reverse
state.
M
=
1.893).
There
was
near-ambivalence
among
respot
50
International
Journal
of
Consumer Studies
©
2005
Blackwell
PubIi55’
9
Lid
T.J.
Lipscomb
eta!.
Table
1
Descriptive
statistics
for
etiquette
statements
Cellphone
etiquette
among
college
students
Statement
Mean
SD
Median Mode
n
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell
phone
while
driving.
2.959
1.171
3.00
3.00 366
It
is
inappropriate to
use
a
cell
phone
during
worship/church.
4.635
1.031
5.00
5.00
367
It
is
inappropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone
during
a
class. 4.514
1.077
5.00
5.00 368
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hands-free
cell
phone
while
driving.
4.098
1.185
5.00
5.00
369
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone
in
a
restaurant.
2.910
1.263
3.00 3.00
366
It
is
inappropriate to
use
a
cell
phone
in
a
library.
4.085
1.228 5.00
5.00
366
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone
on
public
transportation. 3.768
1.103
4.00
5.00 367
It
is
inappropriate to
use
a
cell
phone
in
the
bathroom.
2.683
1.298
3.00 3.00 366
It
is
inappropriate to
use
a
cell
phone
in
the
supermarket.
1.893 1.187
1.00
1.00
365
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone
in
a
movie
theater
Iduring
a
movie).
1.956
1.582
1.00
1.00
366
Likert-type
scale:
1
=
strongly
disagree;
5
=
strongly
agree.
Table
2
Mann-Whitney
U-test
results
Statement
Gender
n
Mean
rank
U
Z
Significance
It
is
inappropriate to
use
a
cell
phone
during
worship/church.
Female/male
183/180
191.51/1
72.33
14
729.5
—2.88
0.004
Table
3
Kruskal—WaIIis
test
results:
employment
status
Statement
Employment
status
n
Mean
rank
d.f.
Significance
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell
phone
while
driving.
Full-time 153
160.36
14.971
2
0.001
Part-time
169
203.03
Unemployed
40 171.40
concerning
the
use
of
a
cellphone
in
the
bathroom
(M
=
2.683),
in
a
restaurant
(M
=
2.9
10)
and
a
hand-held
phone while
driving
(M
=
2.959).
The
data were
analysed
so as
to
determine whether
there
were
differences
in
attitudes
toward
appropriate
cellphone
usage
as
a
function
of
the
demographic
characteristics
of
the
respondents.
Given
some
of
the
small
cell
sizes
produced
by
item
non-response
among
some
of
the
demographic
categories,
non-parametric
statis
tical
methods, including
the
Mann—Whitney
U-test (two
categories
per variable)
and
the
Kruskal—Wallis
test
(more
than
two
catego
ries
per variable),
were
used
in
this
study.
Independent
variables
included
standard
demographic
indicators,
as
well
as
student-
status
descriptors. Demographic
variables
included
gender.
age.
major.
marital status,
number
of
children
under
age
18.
employ
ment
status,
primary
educational
funding source
and
location
(state). Age
and
number of
children
were
recoded for purposes
of
analysis.
An
alpha
level
of
P
<
0.05 was
used
to
determine
statisti
cally significant differences.
Gender
differences
The
Mann—Whitney
U-test
revealed
only one
statistically
signif
icant
difference
among the
10
etiquette
questions
by
gender
(see
Table
2).
Women
were
more likely
to
agree
with
the
state
ment,
‘It
is
inappropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone during
worship!
church’
(U
=
14729.5,
Z
—2.883,
P
=
0.004). The
remainder
of
the
statistical
tests
revealed
no
differences between
males
and
females.
Differences
among
majors
The
Kruskal—Wallis
test
revealed
no
significant differences
with
regard
to
major.
Employment
status
One
significant difference
was
observed
with
respect
to
employ
ment status (see
Table
3).
Students
who
work part-time tended
to.
agree
with the
statement.
‘it
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell
phone
while
driving’,
whereas
those employed full-time
tended
to
disagree
(2
14.971.
d.f.
=
2,
P=
0.001).
Educational funding
With
regard
to
primary
source
of
funding
for
their
education, those
students
who
were
the
primary
source
tended
to
agree
with the
statement,
‘It
is
inappropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone
in
the
bathroom’,
whereas
those
whose source
was
family financing tended
to
dis
agree
(%
=
9.654,
d.f.
=
2.
P
=
0.008:
see
Table
4).
Geographic
region
One
significant difference
was
found
with
respect
to
state.
Stu
dents
from
Louisiana
and
North Dakota
tended
to
agree with the
statement,
‘It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell
phone
while
driving’;
those
from
Colorado
and
Connecticut
tended
to
disagree
(x
2
=
20.899,
d.f.
=
3,
P
=
0.000; see
Table
5).
International Journal
of
Consumer
Studies
51
r
©
2005
Blackwell
Publishing
Ltd
Celiphone
etiquette
among
college
students
T.J.
Lipscomb
et
al.
Table
4
Kruskal—Wallis
test
results: educational
funding
Statement
Educational
funding
n
Mean
rank
x
d.f.
Significance
It
is
inappropriate to
use
a
cell
phone
in
the
bathroom.
Student
91
187.30
9.654
2
0.008
Family
74
146.14
Scholarships/loans
160
156.98
Table
5
Kruskal—Wallis
test
results:
state
Statement
State
n
Mean
rank
d.f.
Significance
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell
phone
while
driving.
Louisiana
197
200.02
20.899
3
0.000
North
Dakota 43
201.20
Colorado
100
1
76.50
Connecticut
26
145.17
Table
6
Kruskal—Wallis
test
results:
age
Statement
Age
n
Mean
Rank
2
d.f.
Significance
t
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell
phone
while
driving.
18—21
86
211.34
14.403
3
0.002
.
22—23
107
180.07
24—27
73
170.06
28—57
92
156.56
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone
on
public
transportation.
18—21
86
208.52
11.269
3
0.010
22—23
108
161.39
24—27
73
186.36
28—57
94 174.19
Marital
status
No
significant
differences
were
found
for marital status.
Age
Data
for
the
age
variable were
first
recoded
into
four
categories
for
purposes
of
analysis:
18—2
1.
22—23.
24—27
and
28—57.
Two
sig
nificant
differences
were
subsequently
found
with
respect
to
age
(see
Table
6).
Younger
students
(18—21)
tended
to
agree
with
the
statement.
It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
hand-held
cell
phone
while
driving’,
whereas
older
students
(28—57)
tended
to
disagree
(
=
14.403. d.f.
=
3.
P
=
0.002).
Agreement
tended
to
drop
as
age
level
increased.
Younger
students
(18—21)
also tended
to
agree
most with the
statement,
‘It
is
appropriate
to
use
a
cell
phone
on
public
transportatio&.
whereas
students
age
22
or
23
tended
to
be
more
neutral
(2=
11.269.
d.f.
=3.
P=0.0l).
Discussion and
recommendations
Results
from this
pilot
inquiry
into
cellphone etiquette
among
college youth can
be
characterized
as
follows. Overall,
it
appears
that
college students
consider
it
inappropriate
to
use
cellphones
in
settings
where
it
could
be
disruptive
or
disturbing
to
others.
Such
settings
include
during worship/church.
during
a
class,
in
a
library
and
in
a
movie
theatre
during
a
movie.
The
descriptive
data
dis
played
in
Table
1
suggest
a
range
of
normative beliefs
concerning
cellphone
behaviour.
The
overall
picture
is
one
of
general
agree
ment
among
the
geographically
diverse sample.
Respondents
appear
to
be
split with
respect
to
the
propriety
of
use
of
hand-held
cellphones
while driving,
as
they
are
on
use
of
cellphones
in
restaurants
and
bathrooms. Although
the
underlying
rationale
and
mores
were
not
explored,
it
seems
reasonable
to
suggest
that
these
bear
on
issues
of
safety
(driving)
and
privacy/intrusiveness
(res
taurants
and
bathrooms).
Otherwise,
students
tended
to
strongly
disapprove of
the use
of cellphones
while
in
church,
in
a
class,
in
a
library setting or
in
a
theatre.
These
latter
contexts
are
those
in
which individuals
have
expectations
of
quietude,
settings
in
which
conversation
of
most
any
kind might
be
considered
disturbing
to
others
and
therefore
rude.
Apparently,
such
expectations
apply
to
a
lesser
extent
in
contemporary
society when
using
public
transpor
tation.
and
in
a
(public)
supermarket.
The general
uniformity
of
the
findings
is
interesting
as
this
pattern
suggests
the
relatively rapid
and
universal adoption
among
young
adults,
at
least.
of
codes
of
etiquette
that
govern
cellphone
behaviour.
Few
patterns
are
evident
among
traditional
demo
graphic
groups.
It
is
noted
that
females
are
less
likely
to
approve
of
use
of
cellphones
during
worship/church,
but
otherwise
were
not
different
from
their
male
counterparts
in
terms
of
acknowledged
etiquette
norms.
Differences
in
perceived
etiquette
were
not
evi
dent
on
the basis
of
college
major or
marital
status.
Part-time
employees