Charm School :: Cell Phone Etiquette

There are few things I am more passionate about in life than cell phone etiquette. I have no idea where we got the idea that being on our cell phone nearly every moment of the day is a good thing, but let’s put it down, shall we?

I’m not trying to be pushy or condescending here, I’m honestly curious – why is it that so many people feel as if they need to have their phones constantly glued to their hand? I personally believe that if I’m alone with a person, they deserve my full attention. Truly, my online life is not nearly as important as one-on-one interactions. Anyway, here are a few ways you can embrace technology while still minding your manners. 

Behind the Wheel? Put it Down!

This is a non-negotiable for me. If you are driving, there is no reason why you should be checking anything on your phone (other than directions, if absolutely needed). Texting while driving, checking Facebook, Tweeting – NONE of these things are as important as a life. Remember – you are handling a very dangerous vehicle that has the ability to kill and when you are on your phone, you aren’t just putting your life at risk. Please, please, put down the phone. I beg you. It’s not even about manners at this point – it’s just common sense. 

Consider those Around You

I use my phone as a shopping list, so I will likely have it in my hand while grocery shopping. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m not still aware of my surroundings. Don’t be that person who is checking their phone in the middle of the aisle while everyone else is trying to get around you. The same goes while you’re are in any walkway; stopping to check your phone without checking to see if someone is walking behind you is rude. Don’t do it. 

When Interacting with Others

Anyone who has worked in the service industry will tell you what a pain it is to deal with customers that refuse to get off their cell phones. There’s no real reason why you need to be chatting away with someone else while a cashier is trying to ring you up. Even if it’s a simple transaction, basic human decency means acknowledging the person that is assisting you. Staying on your cell phone kind of says that you don’t particularly care that the person behind the counter is even a person at all. That’s pretty shitty. 

On a Date

I don’t care if it’s a coffee date with a friend or a dinner date with your spouse of fifty years – why, oh why, do people insist on checking their phones when their attention should be on the person that they are with? Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, if someone is giving you their time (which is the most valuable currency of all), reciprocating would be nice. You have the opportunity to build a relationship with a real, live person. Why squander that?

In the Movies

Seriously. Need I say more?

I would love to know what your cell phone pet peeves are. Are you guilty of any of the above etiquette infractions? How do you deal with people that ignore these common laws of decency?

1 Comment

    1. I am totally with you on this! My husband uses his phone for work, so he’s constantly getting texts from clients or pulling up the internet to check in on things. Part of the problem there is that he needs to learn to disconnect from work, but I also ask him not to do it during dinner. If I’m in a group of people, I make a conscious effort not to look at my phone, even if everyone around me is doing it. One time, while on a double date, my husband and his friend start talking about sports and whatnot, and are totally having their own conversation. It would have been nice for me talk to the friend’s girlfriend, but she was too busy texting and snapchatting to carry on a conversation. So frustrating, and kind of hurtful too!

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