What is phone etiquette?

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What is phone etiquette?

Post by Kip »

For personal use, I have always been under the belief that I have a phone, whether cell or landline, for my convenience. While they may seem/be a necessity at times, I still have it for my convenience (business lines notwithstanding).

Why is it, when I don’t answer, people will leave snarky messages like I am trying to avoid them, or they feel they must ask where I am or what I am doing that I cannot answer?

Why is it that some web sites or businesses insist on sending text messages for verification, without an option for email? What if I don’t have a smartphone or no cell phone at all?

If I call someone and their mailbox is full, I wonder why they bothered to set it up. I have much more respect for someone who never sets up their voice mail. At least they don’t disrespect you by not responding to a message left. The same issues are prevalent with landlines. Why?

My wife and I have 2 landlines, due to business requirements, and each have a cell phone. It is not uncommon for someone to call each line if they don’t get an answer on one, and/or leave messages on all of them. Then when you do call back, they just want to chat.

As convenient as a cell phone can be, it can be quite a nuisance. People don’t respect your privacy and think that if they have taken the time to call you should most definitely answer or respond immediately. Heaven forbid I should want some peace and quiet, eat my meal, take a shower, watch a movie without constant interruptions, play a round of golf, listen to music while driving, enjoy a peaceful walk with the dogs or maybe partake in a hobby or actually work.

I always keep my cell phone with me. My mother is 99 so you never know. I turn on the ringer when appropriate. I answer if I am expecting a call. If not, and it is not convenient, I let the call go to voice mail. I will listen to the message and respond when convenient, unless it is urgent.

As convenient as it is, I refuse to become a slave to this little device. We used to talk to each , now we text or email from the phone. I do my banking electronically and make deposits by phone because it is convenient, but I can still do my banking the old fashioned way. I don’t need the phone.

It pains me when in a restaurant to see couples or family sitting there staring at their phones rather than talking with each other. Taking pictures of their food so they can post on some social media site as if it is important that the world know where they are rather than communicating with the person in front of them. Side benefit is that restaurants are quieter than they used to be.

I like my phone. I use it because it is convenient for me. Why does the world think I have it for them?

I won’t even get into the spam texts, calls and emails….
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by missF »

Mobile phones were a good move for me because I know who’s calling. If I don’t recognise the number I just don’t answer. Cold calls sorted. My friends know that I prefer to text, my best friend is the only person I actually blether to on the phone.

I totally agree that just because the technology is available to be contactable at all times doesn’t mean you should be. I even get a notice when someone reads the text I sent them... what an invasion - why do I need to know that? To check up on them and how long it takes them to reply??

Couples in restaurants on their phones? I always wonder if they’re actually texting to each other :lol:
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

I think we are a bunch of dinosaurs. I’ve had a phone since 1993, and was one of the first adopters at school. We always had a rule that it must be on silent when you were teaching or otherwise looking after the children. Mine was either in my bag or in my jacket pocket. When I’ve been on singles holidays, we have sometimes had an unwritten rule that phones should be on silent and out of view during dinner. Occasionally people object, sometimes for good reasons to do with family back home, but most people are happy to do so.

If my phone rings when I’m driving I might answer (hands-free, of course) depending on who is calling. Even then I might just say – I’m driving, can we talk later?

I’ve noticed on planes and the occasional train or bus that people find it almost impossible to go for an hour or two and not be entertained these days. They are watching downloaded movies or playing games, sometimes for the duration of flight. I quite like listening to music with the noise cancelling headphones, but sometimes I just read a book (kindle) or put some earplugs in and try to sleep for a while. When I went anywhere in the car as a child, or on a train or bus, I was a complete pain in the neck because apparently I used to deliver a running commentary on everything I could see…when you’ve heard “Look at the moo-cows, Daddy” 37 times it must get a bit much! And we had all sorts of games that involved observation.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by jkbarnes »

I’m not a fan of how pervasive and invasive the smart phone has become in my life. I’m making a very conscious effort with a bit of success to ween myself. This has involved, if you recall from an earlier thread of mine, downgrading to an older model phone and limiting the apps on it.

Like Lindsey, I’ll only answer calls from numbers in my contacts. If I get a call and they don’t leave a message, that number gets blocked for the future. To be honest though, only three people call me - my mom, my best friend, and another close friend. That’s it. Of those three, only my mom and my best friend leave messages. My mom used to do the house phone then mobile phone bit and leave a message on each. Now she just calls the mobile.

As many on here know, my wife and I don’t live together. Despite that, we rarely talk on the phone. She despises talking on the phone, and always has. We text constantly or FaceTime. If she calls me, I know it’s an emergency.

I used to guard my mobile number fanatically, giving it out as little as possible. Now I just accept that providing a mobile number is the cost of doing business in the modern world. Between the span filtering of both my mobile provider and my phone itself and my aggressive use of Apple’s focus modes built into the OS of my iPhone, I find I’m rarely disturbed by anyone on my phone. The calls or messages that get through are generally people I want to talk with.

The only think more odd than photographing food with a mobile phone might be photographing one’s wrist! :lol:
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by exHowfener »

I find the current habit of people texting someone who isn't there at a social event to be incredibly rude (I'm not talking about asking if someone is on their way etc.).
I must say that whenever I am told that someone is posting on social media that they are at some place or other, my thought is that they can't be having such a good time if they are indulging in that kind of nonsense. And that it serves them right if some rascals break into their house while they are out. Curmudgeonly I know, perhaps I'm in the wrong thread ...
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by jkbarnes »

This is definitely a thread where we are showing our age! This is absolutely a generational issue that young people will see quite differently.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by sproughton »

My view is fairly simple; use your phone in whichever way you like as long as it doesn't interfere with others. Need to take a phone call? Move somewhere quiet/out of ear shot. Want to listen or watch something? Put your headphones on.

Under no circumstances do I need to listen to anything audible coming out of someone else's phone.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by jkbarnes »

@sproughton, I’m with you 100% on this! If I need to make or take a call, I excuse myself. Same for texting when in a group. I try to excuse myself or at least be discrete so as not to appear rude. (This is where focus modes help - turn the appropriate focus on, and the message doesn’t even get through!)

What’s funny is that this is less about phone etiquette as it is basic courtesy, something that seems to be going by the wayside. Here’s the question: is the ubiquitous phone a symptom of declining courtesy or a cause of it? I imagine it’s both.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by missF »

My phone etiquette seems driven by the fact that I can only do one thing at a time....
So - no eating and texting at the same time; no walking down the street bumping into people while texting; no carrying on my conversation while I get on the bus and ignore the driver; no texting or scrolling while walking the dog.
Simples! :lol:
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by TheBeatles »

There is also the recent trend to talk to your phone when on a call, rather than hold to the ear.

Then we are privileged to hear both sides of the conversation!

I don’t want to hear one side, never mind two!
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by jkbarnes »

TheBeatles wrote: Sun Feb 19, 2023 4:10 pm There is also the recent trend to talk to your phone when on a call, rather than hold to the ear.
This is the one thing my kids do that I get militant about! It drives me nuts, and I jump on them immediately when I see them doing this.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by iain »

I learned the hard way to be careful how I use my phone.

Many years ago I used to travel a lot for work. Every night I was away I would always phone home between checking into my hotel and heading out for tea.

One night Mrs Iain noted that the call sounded particularly echoey. When I informed her I was in fact multitasking and speaking to her while sat on the throne, I could have heard her response while no longer needing the phone.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by TheBeatles »

iain wrote: Sun Feb 19, 2023 4:28 pm I learned the hard way to be careful how I use my phone.

Many years ago I used to travel a lot for work. Every night I was away I would always phone home between checking into my hotel and heading out for tea.

One night Mrs Iain noted that the call sounded particularly echoey. When I informed her I was in fact multitasking and speaking to her while sat on the throne, I could have heard her response while no longer needing the phone.
Great post, my wife loved it.

She mentioned that she’s noticed people talking to themselves whilst walking. When up closer, she can see the AirPods in their ears.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by jkbarnes »

TheBeatles wrote: Sun Feb 19, 2023 4:46 pm She mentioned that she’s noticed people talking to themselves whilst walking. When up closer, she can see the AirPods in their ears.
There are some teachers…teachers!…in my building who always have a headphone in their ear and will talk on their phone when not teaching. I want to punch them in the face when I see it. It has no place in a school setting! Thankfully the number is absurdly small.
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Re: What is phone etiquette?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of “Grumpy Old Gits Set the World to Rights”.

This evening, we are joined by Mr Clegg, Mr Simmonite, Mr Utterthwaite, Mr Dewhurst and our special guests Messrs Statler and Waldorf for a discussion on mobile phones (that’s cellphones to you transatlantic gentlemen).

:ironie:

@missF Apologies, you just weren’t grumpy enough. If you can grump it up a bit you can represent Mrs Batty.
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