The New York Times defines a Bluetooth fairy as  a person who walks around with the blinking glow of a Bluetooth headset permanently in one ear.  This scenario can be awkward for those around you; no one knows who you re talking to. But it s so hard to give up the absolute freedom and convenience of a wireless Bluetooth headset. So to make sure you aren't that guy everyone on the subway is scowling at, we have compiled a list of rules for using your Bluetooth headset responsibly and courteously. This Bluetooth headset etiquette is a comprehensive guide for using your wireless headset in public.

Remember that everyone can hear you
It s easy to forget that you are not alone as you walk through the park or meander through your office building. This can become especially troublesome if you begin talking about your boss, a sensitive business topic or you start to argue. Your voice carries even farther when you are speaking with lots of emotion, which is what you want to avoid. Remember to keep your voice down. Most headsets have terrific voice-isolation technologies so you won t have to yell to be heard.

Tell the people you are talking to you re on a headset
Many headsets, like the Plantronics Savor M1100, Jawbone Icon and Motorola H17txt models, have fantastic noise-cancelling features. However, no headset is perfect. All Bluetooth headsets are somewhat susceptible to outside interference due to other radio waves. This step is quick and it is the courteous way to explain the loud noises in the background.

Pay attention
It is far too easy to become totally engulfed in a conversation and forget what else you are doing. This can be very dangerous if you are driving while talking. But it can still be a problem while walking through the office or any other environment. Your eyes can wander and your coworkers or friends might think you are starting up a conversation with them.

Keep a check on your facial expressions
You may be frowning at the news you just got about the failed business deal, but those around you might not realize you are talking on the phone. It s best to keep all serious conversations in an environment where you can react appropriately. If you have to talk on your headset while you re around others, avoid coming across as prudish or angry.

Take off the headset when not in use
The one exception to this rule is when you are in waiting for a call while driving a vehicle. If you are not actively making a phone call and you are walking around or in any place where others can see you, take the headset out of your ear. If you have the earpiece in, people around you might just assume you are speaking on the phone, whether you are or not. Taking out your headset whenever possible can keep you from being labeled a Bluetooth fairy.

Those that use Bluetooth headsets frequently have a bad reputation. Too often they come across as self-absorbed and unapproachable. But you can avoid the bad reputation by following our Bluetooth headset etiquette guide. Good luck using your headset and embracing the wireless freedom.


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