June 30th, 2014

7 Rules to Avoid Being a SmartPhone Jerk at Dinner

by Jacqueline Whitmore

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

It’s one of the greatest inventions of our time, but as the cell phone has developed into the smartphone, it’s also one of the greatest distractions, too.  July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, an event I founded in 2002 with the intent of making cell phone users more respectful of their surroundings.

In honor of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, here are my top tips to become more courteous on your smartphone:

  1. Put your smartphone away when having dinner with friends. Don’t even look at it, ever. Put people first, technology second.
  2. Never place your phone (or your handbag, keys, sunglasses or anything you can’t eat) on the table while you are having dinner. Keep it on silent mode in your pocket or in your handbag. Keep it in your lap, only if you’re waiting for a very important call.
  3. Unless you’re a doctor on call, keep your cell phone out of sight at all times. Better yet, give yourself a break and keep it in your car.
  4. If you have to take a call, excuse yourself from the table and find a place away from other diners to carry on your conversation. P.S. A restroom is not a private place.
  5. The only time it’s permissable to pull out your phone is for brief picture taking or for showing pictures of a cute baby or pet. Show the photo to everybody at the table so no one feels excluded.
  6. Wait until you get home or get in your car to post pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  7. If everyone needs to know the answer to a perplexing trivia question, one person is permitted to Google. Put the phone away as soon as you have an answer.

Watch my interview with FOXBusiness to learn more cell phone etiquette tips.


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