The average person is spending more and more time on their cell phone, but when is it OK and not OK to use your phone?
According to a new study, most people believe using mobile phones in group social settings is bad, but still do it anyway. The study also reveals conflicting ideas about the etiquette and social norms for mobile phone use, but there are some circumstances where most people are agreed that whipping out a device is unacceptable.
More than 3000 people were asked in the study when they felt it was acceptable to use a cell phone, and these are the result:
77% said they thought it was OK to do so while walking down a street, despite the never-ending danger of bumping into someone else who is also on a mobile, or getting hit by a car.
75 % of those questioned also believe it is OK to use a mobile on public transport, even though similar numbers have encountered "loud or annoying cell phone behaviour" in public.
Only 5% of respondents believe it is OK to use a phone during a meeting, while at a church, or in other quiet places such as cinemas.
The vast majority of people who use their phone in front of friends and family are doing something linked to the gathering in question – such as taking a photograph, or getting information which could be interesting to other people in the group.
About 30% of people, or 1 in 3, pursue an activity on their phones which disengage them from the group, and this is mainly because they are no longer interested in what the group is doing, or because they want to avoid participating in what is being discussed.
With conflicting ideas about the etiquette and social norms for mobile phone use, it’s becoming more and more difficult to figure out what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to your cell phone.
Below are 10 basic guidelines to what acceptable phone etiquette is, according to etiquette and lifestyle expert at Danela Conti:
1. No cell phone should ever be placed on the dining room table. In fact, no possessions should be placed on the table.
2. Do not light up your phone screen when in conversation with someone. This indicates to that person that they are boring you and that your phone is more important.
3. Cell phones should not be on display at any event. If you need to take a call or message someone, excuse yourself and go outside.
4. Children should not be given a cell phone as a toy. Research is showing how children and teens are struggling to socialize confidently as 90% of their communication happens over social media and other media channels. Children should be given toys, dress up clothes and activities that require them to use their imagination.
5. Do not take a call when in mid-conversation with someone unless it is urgent. This is the height of rudeness. If the call must be taken, apologize and ask the person if it is okay for you to take the call.
6. Inform the person if you place them on loudspeaker. This can save you and them from embarrassment or divulging confidential information.
7. Ensure a 3m distance between you and another person when talking on the phone. We speak 3 times louder on a phone, beware of the people around you. If you are in a restaurant, leave the room to continue your conversation.
8. Avoid having conversations over SMS and rather call the person. The time used to complete the conversation is far quicker and social when calling someone.
9. Turn your phone off or on to silent when attending the theatre, a meeting or the cinema. The height of rudeness is taking a call or smsing in such situations.
10. Do not drive and dial. Many accidents are caused daily due to people's diverted attention. Studies show that 14% of all reported crashes are caused by cellphone use whilst driving.
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