Modern Day Etiquette: Mobile Manners

Does anyone teach about manners and etiquette any more? - #BloggerBrigade


A few weeks ago, Miss K attended a fashion camp at the local college. It wasn’t a glorified crafting class, it was full-on educational. They learned about the history of fashion, some DIY fashion, skin care and even etiquette. It was a realization that aside from the teachings of parents to their children, there isn’t any place that kids learn about etiquette any more. Some of it can be gleaned from movies or even picked up from watching adults but for the most part, etiquette isn’t what it used to be.

We attend the county fair every year and enjoy visiting the various exhibits. There’s always a section on table settings and as I look at it I realize I don’t know what fork goes where and when you use them.  It is not that that big a deal but it’s a deficiency I’m well aware of. If I am ever invited to or host a fancy gathering I will certainly look up the information ahead of time. Some things are little more annoying though. Have you heard the national anthem playing and glanced around to find people talking or still wearing their hats? I have.

Manners and etiquette need to be taught. Especially in the mobile generation. - #BloggerBrigade

July is national cellphone courtesy month so it’s a great time to remind ourselves of some important mobile etiquette. I’m not referring to things like texting while driving because that’s not etiquette, that’s safety.

Let’s talk about dining for a minute. During my days of tracking my food intake, I regularly had my phone sitting next to me at the table. On several occasions, I was informed that it wasn’t polite. I was using my food diary as an excuse to have my cell phone handy. I’m one of those people who likes to look for online restaurant coupons and recommendations on what to order. Sometimes we don’t realize our impact. A few years ago, a colleague shared a tip about what his team does when they need a work-free meeting out. Everyone places their phone in a stack on the table. Nobody is allowed to use their phone until the “meeting” is over. The first person to grab their phone had to pick up the tab.  I sooo would have lost at that.

Mobile etiquette related to dining is just a fraction of what people complain about. How many times have you been stuck behind someone in the checkout line behind someone too preoccupied to move forward? Don’t even get me started on people on using their cell phones in the movie theater.

We are all reliant on being connected for one reason or another but it is up to each of us to do our part to have our head in the game and be courteous of others. Wondering what others thought, I posted the following question on Facebook: “If you had ONE cellphone etiquette rule to emphasize, what would it be? (Don’t say no texting while driving. That’s not an etiquette issue, it’s safety.)”
Everyone has a beef about some lack of mobile etiquette. - #BloggerBrigade

The following are some tips provided by U.S. Cellular along with etiquette requests that were shared on the FB post:

  • Set ground rules for your family and teach your kids right from the time they get their first phone.
    No electronics at the dinner table. Jessica says “When we eat dinner together at the table put your phone away” and that’s followed up by DeeDee with “No phones at dinner table….and pet peeve…If I’m speaking to you…look at ME not your phone!”
  • When you’re in a conversation, BE in the conversation. “Please look at me while we’re talking. I’m guilty of this at times but it’s awful to start a conversation and have the person say uh-huh while they’re on social media or messing with their phone.” – Andrea
  • If you are in a dimly lit area such as a restaurant, school play, recital or even the movie, set your phone on vibrate and it if goes off, exit to a lobby or common area before checking it. With respect to events and activities, we can take that a step further: Maria says “Don’t hold up your phone to take photos or videos and block other people’s views.”  While Tara reminds us that noise is not our friend. “If I’m calling you and you are in a loud place/screaming kids in the background or concert- shoot me a text that its not a good time…. Nobody can hear and you have to say WHAAAAT 30 times…”
  • Set boundaries. “Talking while using the restroom. Especially a public restroom.” When Summer shared this etiquette faux pas I was reminded of a situation I shared in 2008. As I used the restroom, the woman in the stall next to me was on the phone complaining about how high her bill was. Ummm. Hello lady. You’re on the toilet AND on the phone..
  • Your multitasking shouldn’t affect someone else’s solo tasking. Deb said “Talking on phone at stores, in restaurants, etc. I find it so rude when people are walking around a store talking on their cell. Ugh.” She was on the same wavelength with Nichol and Annette who respectively said “Get off your phone when checking out at a grocery store, at doctors restaurant etc. And if you need to be on it don’t talk so loud.” and “I never, ever use my phone in the check out lane!! Not even to answer it!!”
  • Have spacial and sound awareness. Adrienne reminds us “Stop yelling. It’s a phone not a tin can.”

These are great tips from a mix of people. Not all are people who live in the social media space. Some are professionals. Some are parents. They come from a variety of walks of life. Maybe if we all focus on our cell phone etiquette, it will be a happier place.

For more information on U.S. Cellular and their reliable 4G LTE network, visit their website where you’ll find awesome promotions on the latest phones such as iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S5. You can also connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

What is YOUR one piece of mobile etiquette you wish everyone would abide by?

62 thoughts on “Modern Day Etiquette: Mobile Manners

  1. Those are all great tips. The one thing I drill into my kids is to send thank you cards!

    1. So glad to hear that, Robin. I just posted a note on FB yesterday about that after my daughter received a sweet thank-you note from a friend’s daughter. My daughter had shared some toys we had outgrown. It wasn’t her birthday or anything yet the mom still encouraged the thank you note. LOVED that.

  2. I used to have many things for that list and then I worked in a place that had several people that used their phones in the bathrooms. Now my list comes down to one – stop using your phone in the bathroom. I have actually caved on the other areas but that one just pushes my buttons. Of course I do not go to the movies or that would be the second biggest one.

    1. I’m with you, Jennifer. Can’t stand it when people use their phones in the bathroom. Makes me want to make all kinds of noises just to see if they get embarrassed!

  3. I am so BAD about my phone. I get anxious sitting at the table with the kids at breakfast! I want to read the paper or read my book or read the (online) anything. It’s gotten bad! I recognize that I am setting an example for them, especially when my daughter picks up a piece of rectangle paper and pretends its an iPhone! She wants to be just like mommy. How awful!

  4. I think that when in a quiet setting such as a movie, play or even a restaurant peoples phones should not be on vibrate but should be on silent. The vibration noise is actually quite loud when sitting in a very quiet area.

  5. I used to always wonder about those people that always seem to have their phones in their hands. But then I got my Samsung Galaxy and I have become one of those people! I need to be more conscious of using it so much because my daughter and husband say my new favorite words are “What did you just say”. I am never paying attention anymore. This last time I left my phone at home on purpose and we had such a nice dinner that I didn’t even miss it! I think I needed to read this (although I have never been one of those annoying people talking on a cellphone in a restaurant) I am the one behind them silently texting though and that is bad enough sometimes.

    1. I’m so glad you decided you “needed to read this”, Rena. That makes me feel like I’ve made a difference. At least when you purposely left the phone at home you didn’t freak out. I feel lost when I do that.

  6. So many good tips here! I wish I had more self-control with my iPhone. I’m trying to not spend so much time on it as I don’t want my children to end up like me!

    1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being on the iPhone a lot, Jenny. When our kids are our age, they will likely use mobile devices more than we could ever imagine. It’s all about when, where and how we use them. 🙂

  7. As for mobile etiquette, I think we’re all too addicted to our cell phones and we should be spending more time looking people in the eye! I can’t stand when I go to dinner with a friend and they start playing with the phone or texting.

  8. That class sounds like it was really great. So many people need to learn cell phone etiquette. I have a friend that every time we would meet up she would be on her phone the entire time. I was always so confused as to why she wanted to meet up if she was going to spend the entire time talking to someone else on the phone. I can’t stand when people do that.

  9. This is great thanks you for sharing.I always telling my kids well the oldest 2 as they both now have phones,No phones or electronics at the table at dinner time,It drives me crazy people playing with phones while we are trying to eat.

  10. Talking on your cell in small, public places really irritates me. I was just at the post office, which of course takes forever, and some guy was jabbering away on his cell. I ended up leaving because I didn’t want to listen to him while the po workers took their sweet time.

  11. Great points and ideas! Aside from the mobile etiquette though the National Anthem expectations are a huge pet peave for me because I feel like it’s more than etiquette, rather, a show of respect for our country and those who serve in our military to preserve our freedoms!

  12. I actually abide by now gadgets at dinner table. Or at the table period. This is an important one for me. I hate to see the kids on their Nintendos at dinner either. I need them to be connected to us at dinner time.

  13. That video made me crack up, and even though I’d love to throw her phone on the floor, I’d be on the other side trying my best to pretend nothing was happening or bothering me.

  14. I wish this would get out to more people. A lot of folks don’t understand proper phone etiquette. I love that video with the cackling woman. Lol

  15. Great tips. Etiquette is very important yet people often do not know the basics. Sounds like your daughter took a great course and it is neat that it touched on etiquette.

  16. My husband is the worst offender, and I keep hoping the kids don’t pick up his habit. He’s on his iTouch (not a phone, but the same concept) all through dinner at home or when we’re out. I hate it.

  17. This is such a terrific post. People have lost the art of basic manners. We have been trying to change things and do things differently at school and in our personal lives. I make it a point to put my cell phone away whenever I’m around others.

  18. What a Cute video and some wonderful tips, I for one thinks this generation truly needs to take a phone break.. Everywhere you look they are hagning on the phone, either talking or texting.. In the bathroom Really?? Come on already that is just Crazy… Talk about addiction OH YEH!!

    Me? My cell phone is for emergency’s only.. Wow Right!!

    Great Share.. Chery :))

  19. These are great tips. I think too often people don’t instill manners and proper etiquette anymore. I try to teach my kids proper manners but it seems like when they leave my side, they forget them completely.

  20. These are good tips. One thing that I find distracting and even makes me feel nauseated (not sure why) is ppl using their phones in church. texting, doing things on their phones, etc.

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