The addition of the smartphone to every consumer’s repertoire has been great for enhanced productivity and accessibility, but it’s not all bright and sunny for everyone’s favorite mobile device. While productivity might be on the rise, manners seem to be in decline, thanks to people not knowing how to properly use their smartphone in public without annoying everyone around them. Here are four smartphone etiquette tips that every device owner should keep in mind.
Keep the Phone Off the Dinner Table
When we sit down to eat, most people consider it a social experience. As such, it’s expected that you are mentally present and engaged in any conversations. This isn’t hard to do, but when you can’t take your eyes off your phone, it’s considered rude. Even checking your phone every now and then for notifications is frowned upon.
Solution: Leave your phone be during dinner. Don’t put it on the table, as even its very presence is sure to make someone lose their appetite.
Fun Facts: A restaurant in Iowa, Sneaky’s Chicken, offers a 10 percent discount for diners who don’t bring their treasured phone to their meal. Also, Bucato, in Los Angeles, has a dedicated “cell-phone section.”
Keep Your Voice Down if You’re in Public
It’s perfectly acceptable to use your phone if you’re in a room with other people, but only if you keep your voice at a manageable level. You know there’s something wrong when other people around you can’t concentrate, or have to talk over you in order to continue a conversation. In this case, poor call connections are often the culprit and users will resort to talking louder so the person on the other end can hear their voice. Unfortunately, this usually draws the ire of the room, especially when the one on the phone doesn’t realize what they’re doing. This is why it’s always important to be aware of the volume of your voice, which is easier said than done half the time.
Solution: Just step out of the room. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t Use Your Phone at Cash Registers
You can use your phone while you shop, but one of most cashiers’ pet peeves is using your device while they are ringing you out. You might not be planning on having a lot to talk about with the cashier, but when you continue talking on the phone, even during checkout, it shows that the cashier isn’t worth your time. Naturally, people don’t like feeling this way, and it makes the cashier feel awkward for interrupting your “important” phone business.
Solution: You could just hang up the phone, but if it’s important, at least take the time to apologize to the cashier ringing you out, and focus as best you can on them. That way, they know they have what little attention you can afford them.
Stop Leaving Long Voicemails
Contrary to popular belief, voicemails are not meant to include every detail of the reason you’re calling. Voicemails should rarely, if ever, exceed one minute in length. Any longer, and voicemails can simply overwhelm people. People will often need to scramble to find a pen and paper, and if it’s an especially long message, they’ll have to listen to the whole message again to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Great.
Solution: If you have a lot of information to share, just leave a message asking for the person to call you back. Just leave your name, callback number, and the reason you’re calling; you know, what every voicemail system asks for, and nothing more.
Believe it or not, some people really don’t understand how to be considerate when using their phones. This is why it’s so important to share these tips and make the world more enjoyable for everyone. Mobile devices aren’t going anywhere, so we should learn to coexist in as painless a way as possible.
What are some of your tips for helping others be more considerate with mobile devices? Let us know in the comments.