As a result of the tech-age we currently live in, a lot has changed when it comes to social interactions; however, some things should not change. Being polite during social interactions and being respectful to those around you should always be at the forefront of your mind. Seeing as we use technology, especially our cell phones, in all aspects of our lives, I am breaking down cell phone etiquette into the 3 most prominent settings – Work, Social, and General Public usage.
- At Work
- Put your phone away when you are arriving and leaving work so you interact and say hello/goodbye to those in your office.
- Silence your cell phone when you are in the office, especially if you work in an open space or cubicles with other people. Hearing your phone ring or alerts go off can be distracting to those around you.
- Refrain from using your cell during meetings and other people’s presentations unless you are adding things to your calendar or referring to it in order to review current events. Even with that, be cautious – it may still look like you are texting or not paying attention to the presenter.
- Take notes with a pen and paper, not on your phone. If you do not have good handwriting, cannot write quickly, or need the information recorded to send-out immediately, use a tablet or laptop to take notes, but be sure not to have any other windows open.
- If you work in an open space or in cubicles, excuse yourself to take a personal call on your cell phone. It allows you to keep your privacy and also prevents you from distracting your co-workers.
- If you have a work/company cell phone, use it only for work purposes and never for personal use.
- In Social Settings (On a Date, Out with Friends, Visiting Family)
- Put your phone away and give the people you are with your undivided attention. After all, you are out to be socializing with them and not with other people via your phone or social media.
- Silence your cell phone. If your phone is continuously ringing and you keep checking it, you will likely offend the people you are with by making it seem like you are too busy to be there.
- If you are driving with other people in your car and using Bluetooth throughout the car, make sure whoever you are speaking to knows they are on speaker phone. Unless it is an important call, let the caller know you are driving with other people and will call them back.
- In Public
- If you are taking a call in public, use your “inside voice.” No one around you wants to hear your conversation.
- Do not be on your phone when you are at the check-out counter or while someone in a store is assisting you.
- If take a call that begins to get emotional, find a private place to use your phone or stay in your car until the call is over and you have collected yourself. This is especially true if you are “getting heated” about something over the phone. It makes people around you feel uncomfortable and quite frankly, you will embarrass yourself.
- All the Time
- Do not text and drive!
- If you are awaiting an important call and you need to have your phone with you during a meeting, appointment, meal, etc., simply let the people around you/who you are with know. When the calls comes, excuse yourself and take the call in private.
- If you accidentally text the wrong person, simply send a follow-up text to saying, “I’m sorry, that text was not meant for you. Please ignore it.” Then, be thoughtful and add something like, “But how have you been?” if it is a friend or relative.
- Lock your phone so you do not accidentally call someone while your phone is in your purse, pocket, etc.
I hope these tips help you to be more “Tech-Proper!”