Put your phone away at the dinner table: This phone etiquette rule may seem obvious because, hello, it’s rude, but being courteous in public to both your dining partner and other diners is important, says Amy Rice, Gadget Expert for Gazelle. Parenting, etiquette, and financial expert Brett Graff adds, “If it rings, and you must answer it, explain to your dining companions that your child is home by him or herself or that you’re waiting for a huge business deal to close. Otherwise, ignore it,” she says
End phone conversations when paying for purchases: Just because you may not know the cashier doesn’t mean you can keep chatting away while they’re helping you. Unless it’s an emergency, it’s just rude to stay on the phone right in their face.
Never shout when talking on the phone: Can you hear me now? If they can’t, maybe you should call them back later. When in public, it’s a good phone etiquette practice to try not to raise your voice while on the phone. No one else needs to be privy to your conversations—or your arguments, says Rice.
Never text and drive: This is an obvious one. Many states have laws in place regarding texting and talking on the phone while driving. Hint: It’s a big no-no
Avoid texting in work meetings: You don’t want your boss looking up and seeing you texting away and completely ignoring what’s going on. Plus, if you’re the boss, it’s setting a bad example for your workers.
Turn off your phone in places such as a church, temple, or theater: Rice says there are no exceptions to this rule. There are just certain places where cell phones should be and often are off-limits. And remember, checking your phone and having it light up in a dark theater—even if you don’t talk, text, or Tweet—is just as rude.
Avoid talking on the phone in a waiting room, but if you must, leave the area first: Waiting rooms can be crowded and noisy—not exactly conducive to a phone call. If you must talk on the phone, Rice suggests leaving the area so as not to disturb your fellow waiting room occupants.
Avoid taking a call in the middle of a face-to-face conversation: “Cell phones can destroy all your interpersonal dealings,” says Graff. “You should not even give the screen a glance while you’re speaking to someone at a party or a dinner.” Sometimes it’s best to think of how would you feel if that happened to you? If it would bother you, then you probably shouldn’t do it to someone else.
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