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Technology / Business technology

Mobile phone etiquette

It’s my observation that shortly after the mobile phone was introduced to society, we rewrote the book on manners. Here are seven things about mobile phone etiquette that really set me off:

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1. Checking for and responding to every call and text immediately doesn’t make you important and indispensable nor does it make you look important and indispensable. It does make you seem like a person who can’t stand to be on their own for five minutes. The off button is the most important feature of your phone – use it regularly.

2. It’s hard to believe, but there are some places where it is inappropriate to hear mobile phone rings/beeps and alerts. At the top of my list are restaurants, churches, movie theatres, restaurants, hospitals and did I mention – restaurants? Once again the key here is utilising the oft-forgotten off button or Silent mode.

3. Don’t answer/make calls at the same time you are ordering your coffee or lunch. The person trying to take your order thinks you’re an idiot, and so does everyone else in the queue.

4. Texting has its benefits, but it’s not the medium for cancelling work meetings, social dates or relationships. It’s an easy out for those who can’t be bothered explaining themselves or having a difficult conversation. It is however, brilliant for confirming both work and social appointments.

"Texting has its benefits, but it’s not the medium for cancelling work meetings, social dates or relationships."

5. Ringtones – Anything sounding vaguely like an actual ring is acceptable. Most music clips don’t make the grade, only for the fact that the tinny quality of the phone detracts seriously from he enjoyment of the actual music. There’s no question that I would love to hear a 3 second riff from Rhianna’s latest (particularly but not limited to  – Under my um-ber-ellaaaa, um-ber-ellaaaa , um-ber-ellaaaa) but the phone just doesn’t do it justice.

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The obvious and clear exception to this is Who Let the Dogs Out, which should be installed as a default ring on all mobiles.

6. Under no circumstances should you use the speaker phone functionality when other people are within hearing distance. This is doubly important for any personal calls. There are no circumstances under which we want to know about the inner workings of your family feuds or current status of your relationships

7. Never drink and dial or drink and text – the risk of saying something you’ll regret, or something that is actually true but you never intended the other person to know – is extremely high.

Have you got any more to add to the mobile phone etiquette list?

Megan Tough

runs Complete Potential, a company that helps businesses solve their strategy and people problems. She loves being a solopreneur, and when she doesn't have her nose to the grindstone, is fulfilling her other passion of fitness and health.

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