My mobile phone helps me to keep in touch with people. My mobile is for my personal convenience. So I assert my right to set my rules of usage and keep my duties to the minimum possible, in order to avoid the mobile becoming a nuisance or intrusion on my personal privacy. I assume that others using mobiles have the right to set and follow their own rules and may even have stricter rules than mine.
While using my mobile, I would like to follow some rules, which are simple extensions of the way in which I prefer to communicate. Let me list the various ways of communication:
1. Face-to-face: I may not acknowledge every person I pass by, see, or hear. I pick the persons I want to speak to, or notice. I may also smile at a person, without speaking; even if the other person wants to speak, or actually speaks to me, I reserve the right not to respond.
2. In writing: I choose the persons I write to. I read and reply to only the letters I want to.
3. On the Internet: I may not open or read unknown emails.
4. On landline: I choose the persons I want to speak to. Even when the phone rings, I may not pick it up. If someone else in the house / office picks up the phone, I tell them to say whether I am in or not. I may not return all calls, even if there is a message for me to do so. At times, I may even keep the phone off the hook, even when I am present in the house / office.
From the above manner in which I communicate, it follows how I use my mobile:
1. No one may assume that simply because I possess a mobile, I have to carry it on my person. Or just because I carry it on my person, I have to respond.
2. I am not obliged to be accessible on mobile at all times, unless the person or entity who owns the mobile or pays the bill has so specified it in the terms and conditions and I agree in writing.
3. I may not carry my mobile on my person or keep it switched on, at all times.
4. I may not take all calls. Since I can see who is calling, by looking at caller ID, I may decide whether to take the call or not.
5. If the caller is unknown, I may or may not take the call, depending on whether I have the time or inclination to attend to the call. However, I may later try to find out who was calling.
6. I may answer the mobile phone, just to find out who is calling, but I may not speak or disclose that I am listening.
I assume that everything I speak or SMS on the mobile is in the public domain. Therefore, as on the landline, I do not speak about private or personal matters that I would like to keep secret or confidential. This also applies to written communication. I reserve confidential matters to oral communication, and that too only if I can ensure 100% that the conversation is not being recorded.
I do not give any person or entity the right to communicate with me or expect that I will respond to their signals of communication. I am therefore in favour of the DNC (Do Not Call) Registry and against all forms of Unsolicited Commercial Communication.
I am a journalist, editor and teacher in Pune, India. This is being posted for discussion. So please can we have your comments.
Author: Joseph Pinto- India