The 4 Pillars of
Mobile Device Etiquette
used with permission from the HP Small & Medium Business
We've all experienced it: You're on the train, in a restaurant,
or in a meeting, when someone's mobile phone starts ringing. They pick it
up and start loudly chatting away, oblivious to the disruption they're
Annoying, isn't it?
The problem with
modern technology is that it's becoming increasingly disruptive to our
regular lives. Public transport in many large cities is now divided into
"cell phone" / "no cell phone" areas, and many companies have begun
banning notebooks and PDAs in meetings. The problem is — how do we keep
from crossing that fine line where the convenience of electronic
communications becomes a barrier to our non-electronic
While good manners
are always somewhat subjective — and, like technology itself, ever
evolving — here are a few basic rules you can follow.
1. Keep personal
conversations restricted to private areas.
The pending breakup with
your girlfriend, your stomach problems, that big fight with your evil boss
and other such topics, may be of great interest to you, but the people
next to you in the employee dining room or in the elevator may not be so
keen on being forced to overhear. And besides, while you're busy telling
your best friend about that annoying person at work, the person's wife
could be standing right behind you — so be careful. You never know who
could be listening.
interrupt a presentation or lecture.
Speaking in public is
difficult and nerve wracking — and even more so when you're dealing with
distractions like ringing phones and people in the audience texting and
carrying on conversations. So if you simply must take a call while you're
attending a presentation, put your mobile phone on vibrate and excuse
yourself from the room to answer the call.
3. Control the
volume of your voice.
Even the typically soft spoken among us
sometimes have a tendency to shout when using the phone - it's an
unexplained phenomenon. Particularly if it's noisy on either end of the
call, it's easy to want to raise your voice in order to be heard — but
then you're shouting at the person at the end of the line, or shouting in
public and disturbing those around you. So remember your mouth is right
next to the phone's receiver — trust that your phone's technology will be
able to adequately amplify your voice. If not, maybe just wait until you
can conduct the call at a less noisy time.
4. Don't check
your phone in dark presentation rooms.
If you're in a darkened
room, for example when someone is giving a presentation or showing a film,
make sure that your phone is completely turned off. While most of us have
learned to set our phones on silent, many people still check their mobile
devices — which emit a bright beam of light and can easily detract from
others' viewing experience. Wait to check your calls and texts until after
the lights come on or you leave the room.
provide many business benefits. To ensure that the benefits far outweigh
any annoying disruptions to yourself, your colleagues and even to
strangers, do use your mobile phone discreetly in work environments and
when you are in public.