11 rules for mobile etiquette

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 29, 2013

Mobile Phone

Mobile phones are indeed getting more ubiquitous. The mobile subscriber base in India has shown upward trend. There are 867.80 million at the end of March 2013, according data released by TRAI. That’s a lot of people talking on the phone every day. Research has shown that most users are of the opinion that they have ample mobile etiquette. However, clearly most people do not understand what these etiquettes entail. These simple rules will help you identify if you do possess mobile manners.

·         Respecting those who are with you. When you’re engaged face-to-face with others, either in a meeting or a conversation, give them your complete and undivided attention. Avoid texting or taking calls. If a call is important, apologize and ask permission before accepting it.

·         Don’t shout while on the phone. The average person talks three times louder on a cellphone than they do in a face-to-face conversation. Always be mindful of your volume.

·         Give your companion undivided attention. Be a good dining companion. No one wants to be a captive audience to a third-party mobile phone conversation, or to sit in silence while their dining companion texts with someone. Always silence and store your phone before being seated. Never put your mobile phone on the table.

·         Switch off at appropriate places. Don’t ignore universal quiet zones such as the theatre, church, the library, dance recital and funerals.

·         Let it go to voicemail. Do let voicemail do its job. When you’re in the company of others, let voicemail handle non-urgent calls.

·         Don’t take calls at the counter. Don’t make wait staff wait. Whether it’s your turn in line or time to order at the table, always make yourself available to the server. Making servers and other patrons wait for you to finish a personal phone call is never acceptable. If the call is important, step away from the table or get out of line.

·         Especially not while driving. Don’t text and drive. There is no message or phone call that is so important. If it is important, they will eventually call back.

·         Don’t argue with your spouse on the phone. Do keep arguments under wraps. Nobody can hear the person on the other end. All they are aware of is a one-sided screaming match a few feet away.

·         No foul language. Don’t forget to filter your language. A rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t walk through a busy public place with a particular word or comment printed on your T-shirt, don’t use it in mobile phone conversations either.

·         Respect personal space. Do respect the personal space of others. When you must use your phone in public, try to keep at least 10 feet (three meters) between you and others.

·         International calls. Do exercise good international calling behaviour. The rules of mobile phone etiquette vary from country to country.


Conversations and text exchanges have a tendency to distract people from what’s happening in front of them. Mobile phone users should be thoughtful, courteous and respect the people around them.