We have all been there. We try to get the attention of a friend but they are tied up checking news on the internet. We have to listen to loud phone calls others are making at restaurants, on planes, or at the office. And trying to get a teenager to look at us while they are texting—well, forget it. (Of course, at the same time we have probably been guilty of poor cell phone manners ourselves and should think about the example we set.)
Think of it as one of the “dark sides” of social media.
The best way to handle this is to set standards and teach basic manners. But first, don’t give young children smart phones. They don’t need them. And when kids do start using a phone, give them some lessons in etiquette.
If you think it is too late, it is not. Start now and reinforce the desired behaviors.
Here are ten tips, with a download link at the bottom so you can print it out on standard size paper.
- Avoid talking about personal topics in public locations.
- Put phones and other devices away at mealtimes.
- Speak softly; monitor your voice level on calls in public.
- If you must take a call when with others, excuse yourself and walk away to talk briefly.
- Remember that text messages can be seen, even after deleted. Be careful of what you write!
- Do not have earbuds in if you need to be able to hear someone physically talking to you.
- Don’t use bad language, especially around others.
- When someone speaks to you while you are checking your phone look up, make eye contact and respond!
- Follow parent guidelines on when your phone can be used.
- And of course, don’t use the phone when driving.