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Here's Why Smartphone Etiquette is a Skill You Need
19 Feb 18

Smartphone Etiquette is a Skill You Need

Our smartphones have become such a big part of our lives that it has become unimaginable being without them. With all the apps and accessories at our disposal, it’s no surprise how dependent we’ve become on our devices for almost everything in our day to day activities. But, as the old saying goes "With great power, comes great responsibility”. 

Now more than ever we need to observe certain behaviours that ensures good etiquette when using our phones. The consequences of not following certain etiquette guidelines can be dire or could see you being considered just plain rude, so we’ve put together a list of some Do’s and Don’ts to help you out. 

Let’s start with some of the things you shouldn’t do 

Say "I only just got your text” after opening it but not responding 

These days because everything is instant, we’re often tempted to tell little white lies especially when it comes to texts. Most apps have delivery and read notifications, so if you haven’t turned these off, chances are you’ll be caught out when fibbing about not having received a text. Instead of bending the truth, we’d suggest a short response acknowledging the text and responding when you have more time. 

Immediately ask for the WiFi password 

We’re all often guilty of this one! We get to a friend or family members house and immediately request the WiFi password. The important thing we forget in this instance is that we actually went over to visit the person and not their WiFi. Waiting to be offered the use of the WiFi is a much more acceptable, so enjoy some real life conversation and if you don’t get offered use of the WiFi but you absolutely need to use it, then ask. 

(This should read NEVER) Use your phone while driving 

This should always go without saying, but there are too many offenders of this etiquette rule that we simply had to stress this point. Not only is using your phone while driving dangerous to your wellbeing, it puts other innocent people at risk should the worst happen. A good habit to get into would be to make your car a no phone zone by keeping your phone in your bag in the boot. Missed calls and texts can always be returned once your trip has ended. And no, a hands free device can be just as distracting when your complete focus and attention should be on driving safely and responsibly. 

Use your phone during a conversation 

We’re so engrossed in everything happening in the world, especially Social Media, and our phones have become the key to staying informed all the time. Our mind-set has shifted and we often fool ourselves into thinking we can hold a conversation while being on our phones, when the reality is we can’t. Over and above our lack of multi-tasking skills and dwindling attention spans, constantly looking at our phones and especially actively using it during a conversation is just rude, so let’s not do it. 

Look through someone’s phone without permission 

We’ve become very trusting with our phones, handing it over easily to friends, family or even strangers for any number of reasons. Likewise, there are instances when we get access to someone’s phone. The important thing to remember is to stick to the purpose for which you have access to the phone. Most importantly however, we should never go through someone’s phone without their permission. Many people will often leave their phone unattended, this is not an invitation to snoop though, so as long as we remember that we can avoid unnecessary issues. 

And now for some of the things you should do 

Put phone away when with company 

When you’re out and about, with friends, family or a significant other, it’s always a good idea to stay in the moment and enjoy it. One of the ways people have started doing this is by having no phones on the table rules. Another way to keep your phone out of the equation when with company is to put all phones at the centre of the table and the first to reach for the phone pays the bill. But as we said, just stay in the moment and enjoy it and you won’t even miss your phone. 

Be courteous when listening to music and taking pictures 

Two things most of us use our phones for these days are music and pictures. When it comes to music, we tend to think that earphones are the solution to not blaring our favourite tunes out loud for all to hear, but if set to a high volume, our tunes can still be heard. Try taking off the earphones and if you ca hear them, others can too, so be courteous and turn it down a notch. With pictures, it’s always a good idea to be aware of our surroundings. This means check to make sure you aren’t spoiling someone’s picture taking and be especially careful with selfie sticks so you don’t accidentally bump into someone or hit them with it. 

Live in the moment, not through your screen/lens 

We have mentioned this throughout this post, but we felt that this deserves an individual, special mention. Too often we forget to live in the moment and we tend to want to capture it on our phones instead. Social Media is a big culprit, because we want to do things only for the excitement of posting it and getting likes and comments. Live life, enjoy it, dwell in the moment and once you’ve taken it all in, then by all means capture it as a memory.

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