Dennis had posted a while back about his son’s 1-hour Cub Scout meetings and how there is always at least one person using their smartphone at any given time during the meeting. While some uses of smartphones during meetings seem totally acceptable – like taking notes, other uses may be considered rude to the organizer – like browsing the internet or sending text messages. In today’s society where it seems like everyone you see has a smartphone attached to them… what’s really the proper etiquette for using one? Inc.com just posted an article that lends really well to this discussion – 10 Critical Rules of Smartphone Etiquette. Here are 4 of those rules that I thought related the most to Dennis’ discussion regarding how and when is appropriate to use your smartphone. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks of these…
- Pull aside for a conversation. We’ve all seen those people walking down the sidewalk fully engulfed in their activity on their smartphone… they don’t seem like they even realize where they are or that there are other people around them. If you want to glance down at your phone while you’re walking, that’s fine, but if you’re fully engaging with what is going on on your phone, then you’re not paying attention to your surroundings and that could be hazardous for people around you. So be considerate of those around you and step aside if you do need to devote full attention to your phone for a period of time.
- Respect the people that live in your presence. Be mindful to always be present when you are around other people. If you are in a meeting or at a social gathering you should be paying more attention to the people that you are physically with rather than your smartphone. If you do receive an alert on your phone or a message that you need to respond to, just excuse yourself to respond so the people you are with know that you just need to deal with the situation quickly.
- Find the off switch. It’s OK to not always have your smartphone on you. Sometimes you just need to step away and “disconnect” yourself in a sense. Spend time with people in person and put the phone down for a little while.
- Notifications and alerts are for you only. Flashing screens and strange noises (duck quacks, etc) are great ways to alert you that you have a new message or email, but there’s a time and a place for those. If you are in a meeting, these things could be distracting. Consider turning your phone on silent just for that meeting… that way you’re able to see your notifications, but the whole room doesn’t hear them.