mobile phone etiquette

11 tips for Mobile Phone Etiquette

The technology of today and the future, and our increasing reliance on portable devices has led to the introduction of a whole new set of social skills. Etiquette training has transformed since the days of using the soup spoon to scoop the soup in anti clockwise direction away from your mouth on the opposite side of the bowl. Now there are people writing books and giving talks on mobile phone and portable device etiquette.

Last week I wrote about the Smarter Smartphone Code of Conduct introduced by the Sunshine Coast and Tourism and Events Queensland as a way for people to re-evaluate the role of their mobile phones and the control, or lack thereof, of this little device that plays such a big role in our lives.

Anna Musson is one such lady who spends her professional life helping to coach people on how to present the best image of themselves.Here are her top tips for mobile phone etiquette:

1. People first devices second: if you are with someone don’t check your phone mid conversations. There is a time and place for everything

2. If you need to answer a call and you are with someone, ask “Do you mind if I answer this?”

3. Never have your phone or device on the dinner table

4. Dont have an offensive ring tone

5. Dont have your ring tone too loud

6. Set up a voicemail or system for returning calls

7. Leave the phone at home or in the car when on a date

8. Be mindful of voice volume when speaking on the device

9. Never use your phone when at a service counter

10. If young children are using the device, bring headphones

11. When dining with others put your ringer on silent

I realise there may be certain circumstances where these are not always possible. You may have left the newborn with a babysitter for the first time and you feel more comfortable having the phone close by or you may be waiting on an urgent call that requires you to answer mid date night . But for the majority of the time I think we can safely follow these tips or at the very least become more conscious of how we are using our phones and try to limit the intrusion into our real life connections.

What phone behaviours annoy you? Do you think about your phone use whilst in the company of others?

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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Social Mumma

    Good tips – I especially like #8 – be mindful of the voice volume when speaking on the device. I’ve been in some awkward situations when you can overhear what the person on the other end is saying…

    #10 is a winner too – I always (try) to have some headphones with me when I’m out and about with the kids – can be a godsend.

  2. Jody at Six Little Hearts

    Don’t you just loathe those mobile yellers! I also hate seeing people dining with others but they are all gazing at their phones!

  3. So great tips! I find it annoying when people spend more time on their phones than chatting with you! Love this list!

  4. Alicia

    I know several people who could learn better phone etiquette! It annoyed me when I used to try to serve someone talking on a phone, and amuse me when they got stroppy when I moved on to serve someone else. Rude.

  5. EssentiallyJess

    funny Boatman and I were just discussing this tonight! Out to dinner and we were talking about whether it’s ok to answer a phone call or not.
    As for rude behaviour, I hate it when I’m serving a customer at work and they are on the phone. It’s so rude

  6. Me

    If only more people would read this post and realise that the people they are with deserve more respect that a ringing phone that gets answered without even an “Excuse me, do you mind if I take this call – I’ve been waiting on it / it’s urgent / it’s my child and I need to just see what they need.”
    Thank you and here’s hoping lots of people read and take note !

  7. Tegan

    Have you seen the idea of placing the phones in the middle of the table and the first person to touch their phone during the meal has to pay for dinner? I think that is a great way to ensure that there is conversation rather than staring at a phone for the whole time.

  8. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    I’m a big believer in not answering a phone call when I’m around friends, and always ask or tell them who is it and that’s why I have to answer. Sometimes it’s a work call and I have to take it. Phones at dinner table make my blood boil!!!

  9. Twitchy

    I’m definitely no angel when it comes to mobile use- just ask my husband. If we watch a movie at home, I often jump on IMDB just to check the cast or whatever. But one that really bugs me is a friend who was texting other friends as we sat to lunch! I seriously thought about texting her to say “how about you focus on our lunch?” !! #teamIBOT

  10. Psych Babbler

    Great tips…I wholeheartedly agree. I think one of the things that annoys me is people who read text messages while they are having dinner with you. So rude! I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to my phone but the only thing I do when I’m out to dinner with close friends is take photos of the food and maybe instagram it. But I always ask before I do it and that too with really close friends who know about my blog and social media craze! 😀

  11. Mamagoingsolo

    I think that these tips should be taught far and wide. It constantly amazes me how people will answer phones in the middle of a face to face appointment. As if they can’t bear to miss out on what might be a more interesting conversation!

  12. Grace

    My phone stays on silent – partly because I forget to turn it back on but also because I just can’t be bothered. If it’s important, they’ll call me back or leave a message. Although I must say, I rely too heavily on the social media on my phone….must change that!

  13. Annie

    If you are at dinner, and need to type a SMS (emergency one??), make it short. Not War & Peace. Its not a lot of fun being out and watching others type.

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