Cell Phone Etiquette in a Modern World

Cell Phone Etiquette in a Modern World

Good cell phone etiquette is a must. In today’s society it’s no secret that people are more distracted than ever with their cellphones. More than that, they are getting used to being constantly connected, having instant communication and are overall missing the things that are going on around them. Because of this, it’s essential to set up some boundaries.

According to a recent poll mentioned in the article  by J.A. Shapira, “Cell Phone Etiquette for the Modern Gentleman,” an astounding 92% of participants admitted to needing better manners when it came to phones – which says something about us. Aside from making those around us feel ignored or disrespected, there are other things that people find unappealing about excessive cellphone use in public:

  • private conversations held publicly
  • excessive talking
  • loud volume
  • overuse of speakerphone
  • constant interruptions
  • distracting

In a society that has become rather “lax” about etiquette, we are crossing boundaries that we didn’t even know existed just 20 years ago. I’ve posted about workplace etiquette here  and email etiquette here. Etiquette is an important topic for us to master or be reminded about–good manners and consideration of others is still important.

Back to cell phones, I’ve compiled a list of rules for cell phone usage based on Mr. Shapira’s post. Here they are:

Cell Phone Etiquette General Rules

  • Follow the “Golden Rule”
  • In-person conversations should be sacrosanct
  • If it doesn’t require an immediate response, let it be
  • Excuse yourself when it’s necessary to use your phone
  • Keep your ringer off at work and be sure to put it away during meetings
  • Avoid talking on your phone when you’re in close quarters with others–like a doctor’s waiting area.
  • When you’re at home

Your home is your personal space. With that in mind, remember that your spouse and/or children are also sharing the space with you. This means that it’s more important than ever to to be “present”. Although you might not need rules at home, be sure to keep your phone off/away/on silent during mealtimes, bed times and other intimate settings.

When you invite guests over

When inviting guests into your home it’s most polite to focus all of your attention on them. Keep your phone in another room or on vibrate.

When paying social visits

As a guest in someone’s home it’s polite to keep your phone stashed away in your purse or pocket on silent. If you’re concerned about an urgent call from a babysitter or child be sure program emergency numbers that will override your phone’s silent option.

When at work

It’s best to keep cell phone usage to a minimum unless your workplace has other requirements. Personal cell phone use is most appropriate during breaks.

When you’re dining out

At restaurants, phone usage should be kept at a minimum. Despite that browsing Facebook or reading the news isn’t necessarily loud or distracting, it’s rude to those with whom you’re sharing your meal.

When you’re at a formal event

Leave your phone at home or in the car. If you decide to keep it on your person, make sure it’s switched off.

While driving

Simply refrain from using your phone when operating a vehicle. If it’s urgent, pull over. And, for pity’s sake don’t text and drive.

Did I miss anything? Bookmark this page and share with friends, co-workers or cell phone etiquette offenders. Let’s try to bring common sense and good manners to our world–one cell phone at a time.


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Featured image by Warren Wong on Unsplash

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