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We’ve gone over the standard smartphone social fare To The Manner Born: Essential Technology Etiquette Tips For Our Digital Age To The Manner Born: Essential Technology Etiquette Tips For Our Digital Age Technology etiquette could easily fall under the topic of “common sense” yet there are many who remain ignorant -- and that’s not a judgment against those who don’t know any better. For a long while,... Read More : don’t text during a conversation, don’t ignore friends to take a long phone call, don’t send text messages completely full with abbreviated words.

But that’s all we’ve done: don’t, don’t, don’t.

Instead, let’s talk about how to function in this smartphone-infused world. It’s been integrated in our daily lives – how do we use it when among friends, co-workers, and family? What are the acceptable uses, and what aren’t the acceptable uses?

Taking A Phone Call

phones

These days, it’s inevitable that we get phone calls that we just must answer immediately, despite the fact that just a decade ago, if the caller couldn’t get through to you, they would have to wait for you to get the message on your home answering machine. Social rules have changed, and current society desires a more immediate gratification of their needs as opposed to delayed. That said, you’re expected to answer your phone right away or at least call back in the next few minutes.

Rather than completely ignoring your phone, try planning and evaluating the situation instead. If you are expecting an important call, then be honest: “Guys, someone’s going to call me in a few minutes – mind if I take it?” 

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Of course, make sure to be reasonable about the situation. Are you among company which will be understanding? How loose or strict are social rules in your particular setting? Is this an important meeting or are you hanging out with a friend?

Someone Isn’t Answering

noentry

Put yourself on the other side of an unanswered call or text: you’re the one doing the calling or texting, and you aren’t getting any feedback. We’ve all been there. Two things in this instance:

  1. Don’t keep calling. If they didn’t answer two minutes ago, they aren’t going to answer now.
  2. Don’t send “???” texts. Those are annoying, too.

In short, be patient. There’s a variety of reasons for not answering your call. For instance, the person you’re calling may be in the middle of a meeting (as expected). Or even worse, they may – for whatever reason – have the ringer turned on, and it’s continually ringing wherever they are.

You’re At A Party

party

Parties are designed for social interaction between people, face to face. If you’re on your phone the entire time, you may very well appear stand-offish and rude. If you’re at a party, devote thirty minutes to not touching your phone. See what other people are doing.

Are over half the people texting and sharing funny pictures 5 Apps For The Internet Meme Lover In All Of Us [iOS] 5 Apps For The Internet Meme Lover In All Of Us [iOS] If you are an avid Internet user, (I assume you are if you are hanging out at MakeUseOf) you cannot avoid the meme. You encounter them everywhere. The memes are always lurking, even within the... Read More with the people in the room? Eh. Might be okay to play with your phone. On the other hand, if everyone is chatting and playing board games, then you may want to engage.

Texting A Co-worker

suits

Before you get on texting terms with a co-worker, establish your relationship with them first. Texting is more of an informal way to address someone, but at the same time, they are quicker and often more useful than a phone call.

Are your texts exclusively for professional means – that is, are they solely work-related? Have your texts become more friendly, and are they acceptable outside of work? What about humorous pictures and animations?

That said, identify the line, and make sure you don’t cross it. This line is different for various co-worker relationships, so all one can advise is that you evaluate where you are.

While In The Car

cars

Riding in the car with your friend? Make sure your phone habits aren’t too distracting to them while they are driving. A few things to consider:

It’s easy to think, “Well, they are doing their thing, and I’m doing mine” while in a car. However, what most people do not consider is that the person with you is driving a 2-ton vehicle at 70 mph. You don’t want to be a problem for them.

Image Credits: Joi ItoRyan Ozawa, palo, Rachel James, Phil WhitehouseepSos.de

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  5. blessing yeast
    December 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    yes indeed is important to fellow all the aformention rules.

  6. Anonymous
    December 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Who was the one who determined that social rules changed so you are supposed to either answer the cell phone or return the call within a few minutes? Why should the person you are with be less important than the person who is calling you? Do you REALLY need to answer that phone call? If so, you have allowed your cell phone to become a pager. I won't answer my phone if I'm with someone else; I really think it's rude to do so.

  7. Guy M
    December 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Living in the country, I hate it when people have animal sounds as their ringtone. Makes me look like an idiot when I'm looking for geese that have already gone south for the winter. :D

  8. Drew
    December 19, 2013 at 6:30 am

    One other car-related point: When riding in the passenger seat during the day, please be mindful of where the shiny surface of your smartphone or tablet is reflecting sunlight--can't count the number of times a passenger reflected the blazing glory of the sun into my eye while driving. Not intentional, I know, but annoying as frak-all....

    • 3euroo E
      January 8, 2014 at 7:18 am

      great!

  9. Kyle
    December 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    "However, what most people do not consider is that the person with you is driving a 2-ton vehicle at 70 mph."

    How about don't talk on your phone while you are the driver. Not only is this dangerous, but it's very annoying dealing with people in other cars that are on their phone. I don't know how many times I've had to let a driver in front of me know the light has turned green because they are too busy talking / texting to pay attention to what's going on around them. Or waiting to get a parking spot when the person leaving can't back their car correctly because they have their phone in one hand. If it's that important pull over somewhere safe or wait until you are finished with your call before you start driving.

  10. Wanda
    December 18, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    The most obnoxious and annoying thing to me is to have to listen to someone's conversation while in a store or other public place. If the call must be taken, at least lower your voice, if that's not possible then call them back at a more convenient time for you and the people around you.

  11. Kimchi R
    December 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    If you call a Verizon customer and it rings and then you hear a beep, it means the person you are calling is on the phone. Hang up! Otherwise, the person you are calling is going to hear a similar beep for their call waiting. Annoying if you are the one on the phone.

  12. thedude
    December 18, 2013 at 12:03 am

    great,..now if you could please write an article teaching Seniors the proper "etiquette" for using Skype.

    • Finn
      December 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

      CAN YOU HEAR ME???!!!!!

  13. Joel L
    December 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    If people would just take a minute and think about others for a second, common courtesy might actually be COMMON courtesy. Instead, we're all just absorbed with self, self, self. Nice read.

    • dragonmouth
      December 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Unfortunately "common courtesy" isn't all that common, but then neither is "common sense."

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