Nowadays, whether you’re a student, a pre-teen, or even someone in their 50s, chances are you will be glued to your smartphone for a large part of your day. Even when surrounded by others, people seem to find it more interesting to have a giggle at the latest meme on Facebook or check out what their mates are posting on Instagram.
Is it possible that social media has rendered us unable to actually be social? One thing is for sure: it has certainly made us a lot less polite! Let’s take action to rectify this problem now and review the basics of cellphone etiquette below.
- Do your best to lower your voice if there are people around you and avoid discussing overly personal topics, such as the date you had with that belter from UJ last night. Oh, and swearing is a definite no-no!
- If you’re in a restaurant with friends and you simply cannot miss out on the call, excuse yourself from the table and answer your phone outside. Ask the others if they mind you taking the call or, at the very least, apologise before answering.
- If you’re spending time with someone, whatever you do, avoid checking your phone for messages or notifications every few minutes. Try hard to be present in the moment and really listen to what the other person is saying.
- If you’re behind the wheel, whether you are alone or there’s someone else with you in the car, your cellphone should always remain completely off limits. Even just glancing down for a second or two to read a text is putting both yours and others’ lives at risk.
- Don’t hide behind your cellphone, or technology in general, in order to lie, fool, hurt or deceive someone. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it online!
- Instagram can be fun, but instead of snapping photos every chance you get, choose to live in the moment. While a picture is worth a thousand words, enjoying a special experience and creating a life-long memory is worth a whole lot more than that!
- Give yourself a breather from your smartphone every now and again. Go out with mates and leave it at your digz… and learn how to feel confident and content in doing that!
The bottom line? Let’s all do our best to appreciate real-time, real-life interaction more so than the words and pictures on the screen of our phones. After all, nothing quite beats a warm hug, gentle, spoken words of encouragement and legitimately Laughing-Out-Loud.