Let’s start by making it clear you are free, for the most part, to use your smartphone however you like. But, would it really hurt to be more considerate of other people when using your phone? Of course, opinions on smartphone usage vary greatly, but we can all agree that inappropriate use of cell phones has potential to become a nuisance.
When you access your phone in a way that disregards others around you, it shows a lack of respect, empathy and self-control. You are essentially being rude. Why can’t people — particularly millennials — see this? Don’t use your phone as an excuse to avoid real human contact. And stop doing these particularly annoying things with your smartphone now for the sake of good etiquette, safety and healthy interactions.
1. Stop talking/texting while someone is trying to talk with you.
It’s extremely rude and annoying when someone is texting away on their phone and totally ignoring another person who is trying to have a conversation or hang out with them. Seriously, if you won’t be bothered to talk to someone, why don’t you just tell them so or excuse yourself and go away. It’s really unfortunate that some people even tap away on their smartphones while on a date!
2. Stop checking every popup notification on your phone.
An endless stream of popup notifications on your smartphone can be quite irritating, including email, upcoming appointments and social media notifications. Stop checking the notifications every time and everywhere. Not only is pulling out your phone to check every single notification distracting to others, it interrupts and prevents you from paying attention to the real world around you. Disable the notifications and only check important ones at appropriate times when you absolutely have to.
3. Stop posting endless selfies online.
You really don’t have to post on the Internet more than a few selfies of yourself out with friends partying. Look, we get it—you are fun and outgoing. That’s great. But stop with the endless selfies already. It’s not cool anymore. Also, no more of those selfies with perked lips and your duck face on please. Your duck face might have been cute the first time, but it’s annoying the tenth time in a week.
4. Stop typing on your phone while walking.
How many times have you seen people typing on their smartphone bump into others, walk into poles, slam into sliding doors and fall off curbs? It happens all the time and it’s crazy. Stop typing while you are walking. Seriously, you could get hurt hunched over like that. Disconnect and get to where you are going first then use your phone. Alternatively, just stand aside, type your message and then continue walking.
5. Stop replying to text messages while driving.
The way some people put their lives and other people’s lives in danger by using their phones while driving is shocking. Statistics show texting while driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving. Just stop using your phone on the road. It is so wrong and dangerous. Keep your eyes focus on the road always. If you must talk or reply to text when driving, use hands-free tools like Siri for iPhone to perform voice-to-text messaging.
6. Stop texting/answering calls in meetings.
It doesn’t matter how discreet you think you are; don’t send text messages or answer calls during meetings. Doing so is plain rude and insulting. It communicates to others in the meeting that you think what they are discussing is not important. That is not a good message to pass across. Excuse yourself and answer the phone outside of the meeting room if you absolutely have to answer the call.
7. Stop talking/typing/using headphones when dealing with a cashier or waiter.
Would you like to go to the store, queue in line and when you are finally next the cashier or clerk makes you wait as she stops to answer a call? If you wouldn’t like that, then don’t do it yourself. Also, don’t keep the cashier waiting to confirm your purchase or make a waiter repeat himself several times when trying to get your order because you are talking on your phone or have your headphones on and are not paying attention to them. It’s unfair to do that to others.
8. Stop talking/typing/playing mobile games loud in public.
The incessant beep-beep-beeping and tap-tap-tapping of a mobile phone when someone is using it next to you in a public place is quite annoying, such as on a train or bus. Stop it now. Don’t do it anymore. Or, at least, turn off the sound and play your mobile games in quiet.
Tell us: What are some things that annoy you most about how people use smartphones these days?