US vs. Japan cell phone etiquette

The Japanese win the prize for cell phone etiquette. Rarely, if ever, did I overhear a person on their phone. Every train, bus, waiting lounge and restaurant had a sign asking people not to use their phones. Sure, people used the phone for SMS and mobile data, but never, in three days, did I have to listen to someone yak.

Contrast with gate K9 at O’Hare waiting for a flight to Boston. 25 percent of the mob is driving me insane talking about the usual inane b.s. and one frigtard is using a Nextel/Sprint walkie-talkie and making that evil squeak-beep everytime they press the talk button. Over and over and over. Who ever came up with that sound — which I guess passes as some sort of audible brand signature — needs to tortured with it like I am right now.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “US vs. Japan cell phone etiquette”

  1. Japan also allows the use of cell phone jammers — but you need a license to operate it.

    Let’s face it, the Japanese are just more polite than we are. They even wipe their hands after molesting girls on the subways.

    We’re just boorish, rude monsters. But our robots we build to fly over enemy houses and drop napalm on people. They building robots to help old people clean themselves.

    I like that they’re polite. It’s nice when Sony bows low while accepting the return of every battery every made.

    How long until the they start burning Howard Stringer an making his death cry the #1 ring tone?

  2. The Japanese may seem polite but for many their kindness and nice manners are skin deep. They usually say nice things to your face or act nice and polite and then say someting/do something different behind youir back. I am American and worked for a Japanese company for many years but people from most the other Asian countries have told me this as well. The Japanese do have a polite culture, but don’t take that they are all such polite people. They just have a strong “Face Culture” which means they are concerned how they are perceived and affect other peoples “Face”. As with any culture their is variation and there are many wonderful and truly nice Japanese people, but remember the old saying as it has helped me to maintain critical thinking “Don’t believe anything you hear and half of what you see”. Also, staying in Japan three days is not enough sampling data to make a judgement on an entire country. You would need to live in a poor, middle and upper class area of the city, suburb (transition) and rural areas of all four islands for many years to make a judement of an entire country so be careful what you post based off such little sampling. In this case you are lucky and in general Japanese people have a polite face culture but note the above. There are some areas of Japan where people are flat out rude. Also, many Japanese business men believe Japanese style of work in busness is superior to that in the rest of Asia and the West since they have some successfull companies (Toyota and Honda for example). First, just because you are successfull doesn’t mean everything you do is right. Toyota realized this and adopted many US methods from GM for auto development and saved billions while Nissan generally stayed with the traditional Japanese style of auto development and almost went bankrupt. Second, Japan is successful in only 10 out of 150 industries (US is over 100). I could write an essay on why you should not believe anything you hear and half of what you see (cell phones would be next: All cell phone companies (Even American) do not find it good business to develop the latest phones using the latest technolgy since the US uses two systems and the rest of the world uses one system. There are other reasons as well but the point is everyone always says “Look at the phones in Japan, they are so much cooler than in the US since there technology is better”. NOT TRUE. The real leaders in the cell “Mobile” phones is hands down the Fin’s (Finland). Although the US (Motorola etc.) does develop great technology along with other countries, Finland is the leader, not Japan, although everyone believes what they see and believes it is Japan.) I am not anti Japanese but I constantly promote critical thinking and try to get people top collect data properly while traveling before statements are made about an entire country based off one observation. One example I have is of an American that returned from China and said Chinese people acted a certain way. She took a guided tour which the majority was spent on a bus. I thought to myself, all 1 billion Chinses people act this way because of one observation from a tour bus! Anway, keep traveling since it is the greatest thing you can do but please think critically and spread the word to do so, the world will be a better place because of it!

  3. Yes, as a student who has been studying Japan for the past four years, you are correct in making the assumption that overall Japan has superior etiquette when it comes to use of cell phones. The Japanese government had a helping hand in this. You don’t need to base that off a timely study of the four main islands and it’s economic classes. The fact is anyone who goes to Japan will reach the same conclusion. From these multiple view points we will reach the same conclusion and thus it’s probably a good assumption. As far as “Japan having cooler cell phones”.. Well that’s a matter of opinion. I’d say if 90% of people say Japan has cooler cellphones, then they probably do. If a cellphone is cooler not is not just determined on the technology but the way it looks, feels, and so on. Thus making it a matter of opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. When it comes down to that comparison, Japan does beat the U.S. The U.S. came late to the cellphone game so they’re not as advanced yet. Also in business, Japan is doing very well. I find it remarkable that they came to be the second largest economy in 50 years after their country was pretty much destroyed. The fact is most people prefer Japanese products because they have quality products. Toyota did adapt GM methods, but they also adopted a famous business philosophy; if you are in business you should know what I’m talking about. This philosophy happens to make most Japanese products more superior because they prefer quality rather than quantity. So as you can see Critical thinking is a good thing but extensive research is also needed to think upon. You are pretty safe in basing opinions off of others who have already done the research.

  4. In response to Critical Thinking’s answer, i believe he/she has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what the hell they are talking about.

    Quote “There are other reasons as well but the point is everyone always says “Look at the phones in Japan, they are so much cooler than in the US since there technology is better”. NOT TRUE. The real leaders in the cell “Mobile” phones is hands down the Fin’s (Finland).”

    What evidence do you have in claiming that finland’s phones are better? Have you even been to Japan to see the type of cell phones they are using and the kind of features which you won’t find anywhere else including so called Finland?

    Here are some of the features you can find on Japanese cell phones:

    configurable databases
    phone and address books
    alarm clocks and stopwatches
    Live Video feed via Piconet
    Mobile games, such as role-playing games like Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy
    Varying degrees of image enhancement capabilities, such as the option to create borders, to create animations, and more.
    Instant messengers
    Calculator, calendar, schedule note and memo pad
    Playback of downloaded music
    Recording and playback of voices, music, images and pictures
    Portable music player (MP3 player etc.)
    Portable video player (MP4 player etc.)
    Video calling
    Navigation by GPS
    Viewing and listening to TV (1seg) and radio (FM/AM)
    TV phone
    Crime prevention buzzer (with the automatic reporting system to the police)
    ‘Read aloud’ system
    Touch-pad system
    A fingerprint/face certification system for the protection of personal data
    Mobile centrex service with wireless LAN
    In recent years, some cellular phones even have the capability of being used as debit or credit cards and can be swiped through most checkout lines to buy everything from mascara to jet planes, as more and more companies offer catalogs for cell phones. These functionalities include:

    E-money service and various certification functions through Untouched IC card (FeliCa etc.)
    Various services with NTT DoCoMo’s ‘Osaifu-Keitai (mobile phone with wallet function)’
    E-money service e.g. ‘Edy’
    Function as ‘Mobile Suica,’ which can be used for a season ticket and a train ticket
    Cmode: vending machines which can be used with QR Code and ‘Osaifu-Keitai’ of a mobile phone

    Some newer models allow the user to watch movies and/or television. Most phones can be connected to the Internet through services such as i-mode. Japan was also the first to launch 3G services on a large scale. Users can browse text-only Internet sites, and many Japanese sites have sub-sites designed especially for cellular phone users. One of the most popular services allows users to check train schedules and plan trips on public transit.

    Now, how many of these features does Finland’s phones have??
    just because they produced the famous Nokia phone doesn’t mean they are the best in cell phones.

    Now before ranting about things you have no idea about, try researching on the net before writing such fasle statements.
    Firstly ,try taking a look at these sites.

  5. Here in the Philippines, Nokia rules simply because GSM is used by all the mobile phone carriers while WCDMA is still under testing.
    Nokia has even given expensive transmission equipments to the two dominants companies for free for them to test.
    I agree however that it was a real eye-opener when I saw and used the mobile handsets in Japan. When I went to California, my sisters could not believe my stories on the Japanese phones that I have used – specially that small detail about simultaneously watching a movie, reading the stock quotations, looking at the earthquake epicenter map. Yes, my dear.. all these at the same time.
    I got the same reaction from my tennis buddies in San Francisco… hey, the guys in the Philippines know more about mobile phones than they do !!! For years now, I have been using my phone as a debit card to shop in the malls in Manila.

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