In the modern era, many people now see their smartphones are not just a tool, but an extension of their being. For many users, their devices are with them all the time and they find themselves habitually chatting, texting, surfing the web, tweeting, etc. without considering their surroundings.
They can sometimes seem like wired-in experts who excel at multitasking, but perhaps more often than not they appear oblivious to other people who are left frustrated by the lack of courtesy shown.
The rules surrounding mobile phone use etiquette have changed just as much as the devices themselves and the technology powering them. So, here are 10 up-to-date etiquette tips for smartphone users in 2020:
1. Safety should be your top priority. According to the National Safety Council estimates, 25% of all car crashes involved mobile phone use. Many localities will fine drivers caught using a phone at the wheel, which serves as a deterrent. However, your best move is to ensure you only take calls after you have parked safely in a secure spot.
2. Don’t snoop through other people’s devices, even if they ask you to hold onto them for a minute or take a photo. Sharing or viewing any private personal information about a person without their permission is not cool.
3. Make sure your phone settings are on silent or vibration-only mode when you’re in a public area (especially in restaurants, libraries, and airports). And, whatever you do, don’t subject others to your conversations by using your phone on speaker when taking calls while out in public. Remember that when wearing earphones, the volume is amplified, so you don’t need to talk so loudly.
4.Technology experts at Direct Appliance Rentals say, “ask for permission before you take a photo of someone with your smartphone, especially if you plan to upload the photo to a social media platform.” They add, ”think about the fact that your kids might not be so happy with you when they grow up to discover you broadcast all the embarrassing moments from their childhood to your friends on Facebook — especially if one post went viral.”
5. If you find yourself in a feud with someone, instead of texting them, give them a call. There is less chance of furthering the misunderstanding and more chance of resolving the disagreement with a real-time voice conservation. Trust me!
6. Similar to tip five, if you have some important news to share with someone, consider calling them to make the delivery more personal. I know people whose exes dumped them via a text and I even know of one person who was let go from their place of employment in the same manner. Talk about a cop-out!
7. Refrain from bad-mouthing others while emailing or texting — Cyber gossip can quickly turn ugly. With this, you may come up with the realisation that having your smartphones with you can bring you stress. A study shows that smartphones can hinder you from sleeping, from being productive, from controlling your impulse and from having the ability to think right.
8. Use your phone for as little as possible during meal times, business meetings and classes. When you use your phone in those settings, you’re signalling that your phone business is more interesting and important to you than your immediate company. If you’re waiting for an important text from your doctor or kids, be sure to let others know.
9. If you have plans to text or respond to calls while out and about with someone, be sure to let them know that you’re expecting an important call or text message. By letting them know beforehand, they won’t be offended when you interrupt a conservation with them to respond to your prioritized calls. If you’re simply a smartphone addict, go to the toilet to check for new followers, likes and comments on your social media profiles.
10. When you go to the cinema or theatre, always turn your phone OFF and leave it OFF until the performance has finished. The light that your phone’s screen puts out will distract other people attending the venue and spoil their enjoyment of the film or play.