Mind your manners: 13 rules of modern mobile phone etiquette

From not using your phone during meal times to keeping selfies to a minimum, here are 13 rules of smartphone etiquette.

Technology plays a bigger part in our lives than ever before, which means the way we interact with it in social situations is always evolving.

For your convenience, here’s a list of handy dos and don’ts to help you navigate the treacherous waters of modern tech etiquette. Check out the video below to see some bad mobile manners in action.

[Read more: Six places selfie sticks are banned]


1: Keep your phone off the table during meal times or when you are catching up with family or friends: Unless you’re expecting important news, at least give your dinner partners the illusion you care more about their company than the prospect of an incoming Facebook alert.

2: If you have to take a call in public do it quietly:  Why is it that some people insist on telling the whole carriage about their day, or their relationship dramas? Have some courtesy; no-one wants to hear what you had for dinner.

3: Use headphones, but use them politely: Just because you’re wearing headphones doesn’t mean everyone around you can’t also hear your atrocious Ministry Of Sound ’06 mix blaring through them. Hearing tinny residual headphone noise is even more irritating than being subjected to it through the loud speakers.

4: Selfie sticks: If you are going to use a selfie stick, be considerate with others. And make sure you use it appropriately - not at places of worship.

5: Selfies aren’t always appropriate: Visiting Big Ben? Take a million selfies. Westminster Abbey? Sure why not. At the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum? It’s not appropriate. Likewise, no selfies while you’re crying, no selfies while you’re in the bathroom and absolutely no selfies at funerals.

6: Turn off that keypad sound: The sounds of the physical keyboards on old feature phones or BlackBerry’s couldn’t be avoided. Now, thanks to the marvel of touchscreens, there’s really no need for anyone to be driven to the brink of delirium through your incessant ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ftt-ing. Silence those keystrokes for the good of the land.

7: Pick an inoffensive ring tone:  It doesn’t have to be your standard ‘ring ring,’ but equally, unless you’re 13 years old, you shouldn’t be blaring your Nicki Minaj songs at top volume. People will hate you.

8: Use silent mode: Leaving your phone on your desk? Make sure you choose a silent ringtone. You’ll annoy your colleagues if your phone keeps ringing. And ringing. And ringing.

9: Don’t talk on/use your phone while talking to others: Yes, we know you’re in a rush and this is the only time you have to make calls and shop, but at least do the cashier or receptionist the courtesy of giving them the time of day as they help you. Otherwise you are just being rude.

10: Limit Candy Crush invites: There’s nothing worse than logging on to Facebook only to see multiple notifications from Facebook friends requesting you to waste your free time playing games. Stop it, or at least limit invites to those who want to play.

11: Don’t overuse hashtags: Yes, they are useful for discovering photographs. But use them sparingly:  #Happy #London #Sunshine #Monday #Lovemylife #Photo #Instagram. Enough. Stop.

12: Hands-free means hands-free: Don’t be one of those people who hold their phone in front of their mouths with the loud speaker switched on like they’re auditioning to be on The Apprentice or something. Hold the phone up to your ear and adjust the volume. Or use headphones.

13: Take photos, but make sure the technology doesn’t spoil the experience: Our eyes are better than any smartphone camera in the world; yet sometimes we eschew them in order to take the perfect Sunset photo. By the time we’ve spent ages finding the correct Instagram filter, you’ve missed the sunset anyway.

[Read more: How to find your Android smartphone if it's lost]

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