Our Guide to Smart Phone Etiquette

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on May 23, 2016, How To Guides

Since nearly all of us have a smart phone these days, it stands to reason that some of us are going to be better users than others. Some people can root an Android and customise it in minutes, whilst others of us struggle to change a ring tone. But good smart phone use isn’t only about tech stuff, it’s also about manners. Those little plastic and metal rectangles can provoke a lot of anger if not used correctly. That’s why we’ve put together our list of smart phone etiquette, so that you know what the do’s don’ts of smart phone use are. Ready? Then let’s get to the commandments of using your mobile…

Thou Shalt Not Pay More Attention to Your Phone than to Me

The first one is a biggie, and a commandment that’s broken sadly too often. No matter where you are, or who you’re with, it’s not cool to pay more attention to your phone than to whoever you’re with. And yes, that includes the Starbucks Barista, and that first date, and yes, it even includes your wife, husband, mum, dad, kids and other assorted family members.

We get it, sometimes your phone is important, you never know what kind of urgent message is going to pop up. A quick glance every now and again is fine (or, you know, get yourself a smart watch and be more discrete about it), more than that though is not okay. This includes tweeting, Facebook status updates, general chat with your mates, and holding a conversation with someone whilst someone else is trying to serve you, help you or take your order. Got it?

Thou Shalt Not be Loud

Okay, this commandment encompasses a couple of things. First of all, you don’t need to shout. No, seriously, mobile technology is excellent these days, yelling into your phone isn’t going to be necessary. This is especially true if you’re in a place with other people, such as a train carriage or restaurant.

Secondly, we don’t want to hear your tunes. No, really, we don’t, no matter how great they are. Besides, mobile speaker tech really isn’t that great, you’ll have a much better sound experience with headphones. Just make sure that you get some decent ones, since we don’t want to hear that annoying beat through your earphones either. Oh, and if you’re getting a long string of texts or chat messages, then turn off the notification sound! Bottom line? Keep things quiet.

Thou Shalt Not Swipe

This commandment refers to other people’s devices rather than your own, but that doesn’t make it any less important. When someone hands you a phone to look at, say, a picture, look at the picture then hand the phone back. No swiping through the rest of their gallery, and definitely no swiping out of the gallery altogether to check out what other cool apps your mate’s got. A smart phone is sacred and private, and what’s on your friend’s phone is none of your damn business.

Thou Shalt Not Drive

We shouldn’t have to say this, but we will anyway. Your phone and your car don’t mix. End of story. Cell phones are implicated in around 25% of car accidents in the UK. Don’t make yourself a statistics. Put the phone in the glove compartment and be on your way.

Thou Shalt Text Responsibly

This is a broad rule, but still a good one. Firstly, drunk texts? No thanks. They impress no one and end up with you looking like an idiot. Leave your phone in your pocket and enjoy your evening, trust us, you’re not going to get your ex back, or get it on with that dude you met at that club, by sending them drunken drivel. In fact, if you’ve got a problem with this then check out Drunk Lock, an app specifically designed to stop you drunk texting.

Second up here, send your damn message in one text! There’s nothing more irritating than those people that break messages up into three or more texts. The constant notification is annoying, and then the receiver never knows when to answer. Multiple messaging is illogical and should be banned. Say what you need to say, proof read it if possible, then send it, all in one, got it?

Thou Shalt Not Live Through Your Phone

We all know someone like this, that guy that always seems to be looking at the world through the lens of his smart phone camera, and is constantly on social media. It’s okay to post a couple of great pics, it’s okay to post a status update, but do you seriously need to watch that entire concert through the lens of your phone? Seriously, live your life, put your phone away every now and again, and you might find that you actually have something interesting to post about the next time you hit up Facebook.

Thou Shalt Generally be a Decent Human Being

Finally, just be a decent, considerate person. No, really. Think about others for a second. If you get an important call during dinner with friends, get up and take it outside. If you take an awesome picture of someone else, then ask their permission before posting it online or tagging them in it. Don’t make calls after ten at night, send a text instead (unless it’s a real emergency). Don’t leave ten minute long voicemails. Don’t swamp people’s inboxes with zillions of texts or emails. Reserve your social media statuses for things that are actually interesting (which, hint, doesn’t include what you had for breakfast, or really any meal unless it’s something especially swanky or unique). In short, treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

Having a smart phone is awesome, we’re the first to admit that. But having manners when using your smart phone is even awesomer (is that a word?). Use your mobile politely and with consideration and everyone else will like you more, we promise. And at least you’ll minimise the risk of a “smart phone rage” thump in the face (and yes, smart phone rage IS a thing).

Photo via VisualHunt.com