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Eight Cellphone Etiquette Rules

Web Watch was at a business meeting the other day when the subject of cellphone apps came up as a natural part of the conversation.

It was a simple discussion among serious executives. It was, if you will allow the capital letters, a Very Serious Meeting.

And then someone at the table did the unthinkable.  They actually pulled out their cell phone.

Cell Phone Etiquette: Observations from a Mom
Cell Phone Etiquette: Observations from a Mom

One would think that bringing out one’s cell during a conversation about mobile devices would not be a faux pas.

But there is a time and a place for doing so, and this was neither the time nor the appropriate moment for this to happen. Especially when the person in question proceeded to show off all the latest apps they have installed — an activity that definitely was not needed nor a positive contribution to the conversation at hand.  Needless to say, that person has not been invited back to subsequent meetings.

In other words, they burned themselves by being a bit too attached to their mobile device.

And it’s situations like the above that led DEBRETT’S to release their suggestions for these TOP EIGHT MOBILE PHONE ETIQUETTE RULES that everyone should follow:

  • Use an inoffensive ringtone, or (gasp!) the default ones that are included on your phone already.
  • Remember to set your phone notifications off when heading into meetings, movies, or other places where an audible ring would be distracting. Vibrate is your friend
  • Just because you are talking while outside, try to remember to use your “inside voice” when chatting on the phone. Shouting into the phone doesn’t help anyone
  • Remember that people are able to hear what you’re saying, so try to coach your language appropriately.  If you’re going to use bad language or talk about sensitive topics, perhaps you shouldn’t be discussing those things while driving the kids to school
  • Pay attention to others around you. If you’re in a quiet zone, such as at a library, then don’t be That Guy who uses their phone in the wrong location.
  • Don’t use your phone in the restroom. It will just look like you’re taking pictures of everyone around you… or even your own stuff.
  • Interacting with people in person around you should take precedence over interacting with people on the phone. If you need to deal with your surrounding situation, then hang up the phone and call that person back.
  • Don’t put your phone on the dining table while eating

And then there’s one more from Web Watch — act like you’ve owned a cellphone before.  There’s no reason to show it off to everyone around you, “hey check out my new phone!”.  Your phone is not a newborn child that everyone wants to coo over.  You’ll be throwing it into a drawer at the end of your two-year contract, so get over it.