October 17th, 2014

Cell Phone Etiquette and Dating

by Jacqueline Whitmore
Photo credit: Shumilina Maria/Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shumilina Maria/Shutterstock

Is technology affecting your relationship? A 2014 Nielsen survey found that the average American spends 11 hours on social media, and more than half of that time is spent looking at a smartphone or tablet.

Don’t let bad habits get in the way of your love life. Observe these cell phone etiquette tips while out on a date.

1. Be all there. When you’re on a date, especially a first date, the person you are with should always take precedence over calls you want to make or receive. It’s sad when couples are at a restaurant and are more interested in their phones than the person sitting in front of them. Put people first, technology second.

2. Excuse yourself. If you are expecting a call that can’t be postponed, alert your date ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in if discussing private matters or confidential information. If you do take the call at the dinner table, keep it as brief as possible and avoid “cell yell.” Use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your phone.

3. Avoid ridiculous and loud ringtones. Never put your phone (or your handbag, keys, sunglasses or anything you can’t eat) directly on the table. Keep your phone concealed and remember to silence the ringtone. If you forget and it happens to ring, don’t ignore it and pretend someone else’s phone is ringing. Apologize and silence it immediately.

4. It’s permissible to pull out your phone three times on a date. 1) To take a picture with your date, 2) to show your date pictures of a family baby or pet, and 3) to find the answer to a perplexing trivia question that comes up in conversation. If on a date with multiple couples, show the photo to everybody at the table so no one feels excluded.

5. Ask permission. If you must take out your smartphone while on a date, always ask permission first. Say something like, “Do you mind if I take out my phone to _________?” If taking photos with your date, always be respectful our their privacy and ask for permission before posting them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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