We have all experienced rude smartphone users and aware of the loss of social etiquette. The lure of constant connectivity can often prove too much for most people to resist. A smartphone is a superb piece of technology that offers us the freedom to move away from our desks and still be able to keep in touch, share life events, and remain in contact with the office. But society has to have some boundaries.
Research has shown that almost 60 percent of smartphone users cannot go more than an hour without looking at their phones. “Smartphone are the cigarettes of this decade. Making other people suffer your impoliteness on the phone is akin to blowing secondhand smoke in their faces” – Rebecca R. Hastings. How we communicate with each other is evolving rapidly, and the experience of simply being with someone and being around each other is changing.
To avoid offending anyone, follow these basic rules of smartphone etiquette:
- Silence your phone during meetings – There is no valid excuse for using a phone during a business meeting.
- Remove your bluetooth devices – Always remove devices during face-to-face interactions and the pulsing blue light that distracts others.
- Avoid goofy ringtones – If you forget to silence your ringer before the meeting starts, don’t compound the error by broadcasting an attention-getting ringtone.
- Don’t use your phone as a watch – using your phone as a watch often leads to reading of emails, messages and news headlines notices.
- Ask permission to swipe — When we hand you our phone to look at a photo this is not carte blanche to swipe through our entire photo album.
- Never check your phone during client meetings – During a face-to-face conversation, you should never take a non-urgent call or text message unless you work in the emergency field. So put your phone away and leave it alone
- Stop shouting – Respect those within earshot and be aware of your own voice and speak quietly. Be cautious when discussing business matters over the phone in public places.
- Don’t use your phone when you are bored — You look like a zombie when you do, and it makes us all feel sad.
- Put your phone away when someone is in your office – A smartphone on the desk can send a message to others that the phone is symbol of something that’s more important than the person across the desk.
- Control the urge to check your messages – There is a time and place to check your emails or messages. Wait till a client vacates the office before picking up your smartphone.
- Put your phone in your pocket at networking events – The whole point of a networking event is to talk to others and stay focused on the person you are talking to.
- Create a real signature – No one is interested in what type of smartphone you are using. It is easy to prepare a signature with your contact info.
- Communicate with care – Always remember to use spell-check, grammar-check, and auto-correct.
- Don’t use phone when you walk or drive – When driving or walking, pull aside for a conversation so you don’t block traffic or put people in danger.
- Respect the people in your presence – Be present and aware of the people you are with physically.
- Notifications are for you only – If you’re engaged with people, put the phone away and on silent until you’re prepared to answer it.
- Avoid multitasking – Avoid sending text messages and sending emails while talking to someone. It is a sign of disrespect and that you not interested in the people around you.
- Remember to silence your phone – Always put your phone on silent when entering a meeting. Phones vibrating can be a distraction for others.
- Leave short and to the point messages – Don’t leave long, complicated voice messages where you speak so fast that it sends the other person scrambling for a pen.
- Excuse yourself when taking a call – Don’t have conversations in front of other people at all, especially professional conversations. It is incredibly inconsiderate to the people around you.
- Use a professional ringtone – Avoid using a loud and annoying ringtones. better yet, turn the ringer off, or on vibrate and avoid making the people around you listen to every text message you receive.