Follow our expert phone etiquette rules to avoid being rude and annoying on your smartphone.
1. Put your phone away at the dinner table
This phone etiquette rule may seem obvious because, hello, it’s rude, but being courteous in public to both your dining partner and other diners is important, says Amy Rice, Gadget Expert for Gazelle.
Parenting, etiquette, and financial expert Brett Graff adds, “If it rings, and you must answer it, explain to your dining companions that your child is home by him or herself or that you’re waiting for a huge business deal to close. Otherwise, ignore it,” she says.
Now that you’ve learnt how to ignore your phone, these are the secret iPhone hacks you wish you knew about sooner – from charging the battery faster to taking a hands-free photo.
2. End phone conversations when paying for purchases
Just because you may not know the cashier doesn’t mean you can keep chatting away while they’re helping you.
Unless it’s an emergency, it’s just rude to stay on the phone right in their face.
Smartphones give you access to a wealth of information and media, but most networks put a cap on the amount of data you can use each month. Here’s how to manage your data effectively.
3. Never shout when talking on the phone
Can you hear me now?
If they can’t, maybe you should call them back later.
When in public, it’s a good phone etiquette practice to try not to raise your voice while on the phone.
No one else needs to be privy to your conversations—or your arguments, says Rice.
Have a habit of shouting at people? Follow on for our self-test questionnaire to find out if you have a hearing problem.
4. Never text and drive
This is an obvious one. Many states have laws in place regarding texting and talking on the phone while driving. Hint: It’s a big no-no.
Every grammar nerd can now relax. We show you how to use the punctuation you thought you couldn’t find on your phone.
5. Avoid texting in work meetings
You don’t want your boss looking up and seeing you texting away and completely ignoring what’s going on.
Plus, if you’re the boss, it’s setting a bad example for your workers.
Think you can banish meetings all together and work from home? You may not have what it takes to do it well.
6. Turn off the phone in church, temple, or theatre
Rice says there are no exceptions to this rule.
There are just certain places where cell phones should be and often are off-limits.
And remember, checking your phone and having it light up in a dark theater – even if you don’t talk, text, or tweet – is just as rude.
Are you a champion pocket texter? Say “goodbye” to regretful messages once and for all.
7. Avoid talking on the phone in a waiting room
Waiting rooms can be crowded and noisy—not exactly conducive to a phone call.
If you must talk on the phone, Rice suggests leaving the area so as not to disturb your fellow waiting room occupants.
8. Avoid using a phone on public transportation
On public transportation, people are often stressed, rushing, or exhausted.
All they want to do is get where they’re going, not listen to your conversation about your cousin’s new boyfriend’s sister.
“Be courteous when you are in public, enjoy the moment and your friends, but above all be smart about your smartphone manners,” says Rice.
9. Lower your voice when using your phone in public
This phone etiquette guideline is a continuation of never shouting in public.
Not only should you not shout, but you should automatically lower your voice.
If you don’t want to hear other people’s phone conversations, they definitely don’t want to hear yours either.
10. Don’t take a call in the middle of a face-to-face chat
“Cell phones can destroy all your interpersonal dealings,” says Graff.
“You should not even give the screen a glance while you’re speaking to someone at a party or a dinner.”
Sometimes it’s best to think of how would you feel if that happened to you?
If it would bother you, then you probably shouldn’t do it to someone else.
This article first appeared on RD.com