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?