Tip of the Week: 4 Social Taboos Smartphone Users Should Never Break
Don’t Use Your Phone During Mealtime
Mealtime is a social time for pretty much every culture around the globe. During this time, it’s expected that you are fully present and engaged in conversation–which is super hard to do if you’re glued to your phone. Even the quick glance at the screen to check notifications can be construed as rude.
Solution: Turn your phone off during mealtime, or at least, keep it off the table.
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.”
Use a Voice Level That’s Appropriate for Your Setting
While it’s okay to use your phone in a room with other people, it’s not okay to talk on your phone using such a high volume that others around you can’t focus or must talk over you. The problem here often comes from phone calls with poor connections, causing the caller to feel the need to talk louder so they can be heard. Then there are those who feel the need to speak in abnormally high volumes when using the phone, no matter the situation or quality of their connection, much to the chagrin of those in the same room. Awareness of the volume of one’s own voice is the best deterrent here, which for some people, is easier said than done.
Solution: If you need to speak at higher-than-normal volume when using the phone, step outside or go to the next room
Hang Up Before Checking Out
While it’s perfectly acceptable to shop and use your phone at the same time, it’s rather rude to continue talking on your phone while a cashier is ringing you out. Even if you don’t plan on having a grand conversation with the person behind the register, talking on the phone still communicates that you essentially don’t think very highly of them and their time. Plus, it just makes things awkward for the poor cashier if they have to interrupt your conversation in order to ask you a question about your purchase.
Solution: In a scenario where you must stay on the phone while the cashier is ringing you out, at the very least, apologize for the inconvenience and be attentive to them just in case they need to ask you a question.
Don’t Leave Long Voicemails
Just because you can explain every detail possible in a voicemail, doesn’t mean that you should. When a voicemail goes beyond the one minute mark with no prospect of coming to an end anytime soon, it can overwhelm a person. This is especially the case if the message goes into great detail, requiring you to scramble to find a pen and paper; then you don’t get to a pen in time and have to listen to the long message all over again. Grrrr.
Solution: If you’ve got a lot to share, make the voicemail primarily about having the person call you back. Otherwise, it’s best to just leave your name, what you’re calling about, your callback number, and nothing more.
Surprisingly, as common sense as these tips are, we see cellphone users break them all the time. When it comes to preventing annoyances such as these, spreading knowledge about proper cell phone usage goes a long way. Therefore, if you know of any offenders of cell phone etiquette, share this article with them–in a subtle way.
What are some of the most annoying cellphone usage habits that you’ve observed (or are guilty of)? Let us know in the comments.