On Proper Phone Etiquette

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Okay guys, this post may be a little preachy but this is something that I feel really strongly about and gets me pretty riled up and that is cell phone etiquette. 

Depending on your age, you may be like me and grew up in the cell phone transition period meaning you were around to see the cell phone explosion! I remember my parents having this clunky grey phone that could be utilized as a door stop. I was 14 when I got my first cell phone and it was this bean-shaped Motorolla which allowed about 5 lines of text to be seen. Fast forward to today, 10 years after my first phone and now it seems like even babies have iPhones and can take a video and upload it to YouTube…but I digress. 

Cell phones are here to stay and that requires some etiquette people. We may not live in a curtsey-everyday world, but I hope you all are with me when I say that manners and etiquette should be here to stay as well. 

Now I’m sure I could go on and on about my pet peeves with cell phone {and any distraction device} usage, but a few points in etiquette can go a long way my friends. 



1 // Don’t make like Pavlov’s dog. Be master of yourself. Don’t respond to every beep or ring that comes from your phone as if you are responding to a crying baby. When you are with others or are enjoying day of relaxation, ignore that little screaming piece of metal, better yet, turn off the volume and vibration all together. It’s important to stay in the moment. iPhones even have that awesome “Do Not Disturb” feature. 

2 // Speaking of staying in the moment, be kind to the people you’re with and show them due respect and stay focused. There is nothing that bugs me more when I’m having a meaningful conversation with someone and they are looking at their phone while occasionally uttering an “mmm” or “uh huh”. IN.FUR.I.A.TING. 

3 // Never at the table. Sitting at a table for a meal is now a rarity. We are in a fast-paced, grab-a-granola-bar-on-the-run kind of world so when we finally have the opportunity to sit at the table to share a meal, be present and leave the phone behind. 

4 // Be discrete in public. Now if you are completely comfortable in your own skin and don’t care what people over hear then good for you, but some of us don’t like to hear about your child support payments, your disputes with various family members, or the always lovely racial slurs to your buddy on the other line. Keep public conversations short and sweet, or better yet, shoot them a text message saying that you will call them back. 

5 // Excuse yourself. It’s inevitable that you will be in a situation where you must answer the phone. If you are waiting to hear back about test results or the status of a car repair or from a relative in a different time zone, then by all means, answer, but excuse yourself. The conversation in the room can continue without that awkward “do we keep quiet while this person is on the phone” kind of thing.

6 // Keep it out of the theater. Be it the movie theater, an opera house, an art gallery, or a performance, put it away. You cannot hide that little bright screen no matter how creative you get. Be courteous and polite {this applies to all aspects of life by the way}.

7 // Leave a proper message. If you are calling someone who may not have your number, leave your name, why you’re calling, and where they can reach you. Be clear and concise. It’s less inviting to call back an unknown number when you have no idea who the heck it is!

8 // Spell it out and use spell check. If you and your friends are comfortable speaking in emoticon and abbreviations, keep it between the two of you, for the rest of us, spell it out and look over your text before you send it. So many times I get undecipherable texts because someone didn’t take the time to re-read it to see if it makes sense. What does “helljkafsd smiley face auiN?” mean? NO IDEA. 

9 // Greetings and salutations. Hello, please, and thank you go a long way my friends. Being polite is always in style. 

10 // Never, EVER, text and drive. We are not unbreakable or invincible. Do not be so hot headed that you think you are in control when you text and drive. It takes 3 seconds to drive off the road. Don’t be that person. Safety is key. Look out for your loved ones and neighbors. 

Okay, not so mini-rant over. 

What are your phone rules? Do you ever get annoyed at bad cell phone etiquette?