The little book of manners for every smart phone user

Are you guilty of displaying shabby etiquette when using your cell phone?

groups of people talking on mobile phone

For many people it would be difficult to imagine a life without a smart phone, or for some, even two or three. It is the most common artificial appendage and whilst there are a multitude of obvious benefits there is also the need for people to observe mobile manners!

These days’ smart phone capabilities seem endless. Whilst making calls is the primary function, now you can surf the internet, take photos, record videos, download entire libraries of information and navigate your way around the world with Google Maps! With apps galore we are just waiting for the next amazing function.

Mobile phones can also however cause accidents, be a source of immense irritation and have a detrimental effect on interpersonal communication. So often now if a mobile phone bleats its owner will bow to its beck and call. How many times when you are with someone do you feel marginalised by their technological gadgets? You may, if you are really lucky get an “Oh sorry do you mind if I just take this call?” More often than not your sentence will be left in midair as something more interesting for your companion comes along.

Wouldn’t it be great if every mobile phone came along with a little book of mobile manners that everyone adhered to!

Well here is a list of tips that will help you to manage your mobile and set the example for others to embrace too.

A quick guide to for mobile manners

    • Do make the person you are with feel more important than your mobile phone. Be present when you are with people. Switch your phone to silent, or better still, turn it off, and put it away.
    • Be mindful about not developing a dependency on constant communication. It simply is not healthy. Do you really need to have your phone with you all the time?
    • Take off your earpiece when you are not on the phone. This will stop you from looking like an extra on Star Trek. Plus, who wants to talk to someone who is so obviously on call alert.
    • You don’t need to speak louder into your mobile than any other phone you use. These gadgets have incredibly sensitive microphones. Honestly!
  • Answer your phone as soon as it goes off. Not everyone wants to listen to a mobile phone ringing for ages, even if your latest ring tone sounds ‘cool’ to you.
  • Be aware that people around you are listening if you answer your phone in public. Not everyone wants to hear what you are saying to someone else and could find it offensive, embarrassing or just plain boring.
  • Absolutely under no circumstances use your mobile phone when you are driving. Let’s face it, some people have a problem mastering vehicles and phones individually, let alone trying to multitask the two together. This is a recipe for disaster.
  • The ultimate display of etiquette has to be not using your mobile phone in the loo. Need I say more!
Excerpted with permission from Modern Life Skills by Liggy Webb. Published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd.

A version of this article appeared in the February 2013 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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Liggy Webb
Liggy Webb is a leading authority in the field of behavioural change and positive psychology. She is based in the UK and is the founder director of The Learning Architect an international people development organisation. As an experienced learning and development professional she works as a consultant with a wide range of organisations including the United Nations and the NHS. Liggy’s next book The Happy Handbook is a practical guide to holistic happiness.


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