Phone manners we tend to forget

Leave your phone at home instead of your phone manners the next time you step ou.

Anindita Satpathi        Print Edition: Oct 27, 2013
Phone manners we tend to forget

You may not know what 'phubbing' is, but in all likelihood you are guilty of it. It is defined as 'The act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention.' Sounds familiar?

Old-fashioned etiquette does not hold sway the way it used to a few years back but a slight change in habits can make a big difference to the impression you make in social settings. And, we're not talking about putting your phone on vibrate at meetings or at movie halls because that is du-uh self evident, but about basic phone etiquette. You may be completely charmed by your constantly updated smartphone that has something new to offer you everyday, making you dissolve into spasms of delight, but it should still be second in your list of priorities, if not lower.  

Here, we are talking about the incessant, surreptitious checking of your phone, texting while absent mindedly being part of a conversation and the most annoying of all, taking a call during mealtimes. Unless it's an extremely urgent call, make it a point to not take it because you're stepping away from the table and making others wait for you as the food gets cold. Preferably keep your phone way out of arm's reach when at the dinner table. 

Don't carry your phone with you when going to the bank. It is rude to not pay your full attention to people who serve you.  The same goes for waiters; don't keep them waiting while you finish your call. Call back after you're done placing the order.

When travelling, if the line is bad and conversation inaudible, explain that there's a problem and hang up. There is no point in yelling yourself hoarse and disturbing fellow commuters.

Finally, don't insult people you are meeting by receiving calls or responding to text messages. Be conscious of the fact that when you take a call when meeting someone, you give them the feeling that they're not important. If there is a possibility of you getting an important call, inform your friends beforehand and withdraw to a quiet corner to carry on with your phone conversation. Make your choice. Don't be a phubber.





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