Talking on the phone while driving; checking Facebook at the dinner table, taking pictures of everything. We’re all annoying someone with the way we use our phones. No-one’s suggesting you should stop using your phone altogether, but a little consideration goes a long way.
In truth, most mobile phone etiquette dramas boil down to everyone recognising one simple fact: you are not the only person in the world. People who can’t go five seconds without a Facebook update at dinner need to remember that there are other people sitting at the table. People who don’t want to hear someone else chatting on the train should remember the conversation will end soon enough. Tolerance is the key. With that said, here are some specific examples of how you might annoy others with your phone and how to stop.
The Multi-Tasking Driver
Photo by eyeliam
The Smartphone Addict
In Real Simple’s Tech Etiquette Manual, author Will Schwalbe suggests that if you wouldn’t work on a crossword puzzle in a given situation, then it’s probably not a good time to use your smartphone. Simply put, if someone is in front of you and wants your attention, it’s probably not the best time to tap away on your phone.
If you struggle with that, you may have a smartphone addiction (rather than just having bad manners). You should treat it like any other addiction and wean yourself off it. We’ve talked about doing this by outlining your own rules of use (no phone usage at social events, no answering calls on a date, or no smartphone usage during short-term interactions) and disabling alerts. You can also forcibly block social networks during certain times of the day so you can reclaim your attention span and enjoy the moment. Photo by John. [clear]
The Poorly-Timed Photographer
Photo by Chris Radcliff
The Constant Caller
Photo by Lee Brimelow
What bad phone habits do you encounter, and how can they be fixed? Tell us in the comments.