Mobile Phone Manners for the Modern Gentleman
Good manners are not a relic of the past and the only people who snub them are the ones who do not possess any. In fact, conventions of civility constantly change and adapt to the times. Take mobile phones for example. When they first appeared, everyone flaunted them constantly like prized possessions and strived to be on them as much as possible. Now we realise that being contactable all the time is just sad and ignoring the people standing in front of you in favour of a screen is vulgar.
So, let’s try to agree on a mobiquette, or what constitutes socially acceptable use of the mobile phone, in an attempt to reduce eye-rolling and tut-tutting in the streets of our beloved country.
The 9 golden rules of mobile phone etiquette
1. Watch where you’re going
Remaining transfixed on your screen is a clear sign that you should not be allowed out unsupervised. What if you bump into all the other people, who are also staring at their screens, or get run over by a car?
2. Put it away
The excitement of a screen flashing with the latest social media update is unbearable. Except when you’re in a cinema and it’s not your phone. Mobiles are best kept out of sight during ceremonies, e.g. funerals, or where darkness is part of the experience, e.g. theatre, and, most importantly, they have no place on the dinner table. If you’re not sure where to keep them on these occasions, your Aristocracy London jacket comes with an ideal inside pocket just for this purpose.
3. The sound of silence
When we share an enclosed space with other people, it is advisable to respect their peace and quiet, especially where such tranquility is of the essence. Keep your phone on silent in waiting rooms, hospitals and train carriages marked as “quiet”. You can still message people and, if you need to answer a call, take it outside.
4. Do not pump up the volume
Obviously the whole purpose of mobile phones is to remain connected and entertained on the move. However, surprisingly, people may not be interested in you and your quirks so keep the volume down when listening to the radio, opt for a discreet ringtone and take calls in a reasonably low voice. And don’t be that person who yells “Can you hear me?” down the line. They clearly can’t so hang up.
5. Public transport
As our recent blog on tube etiquette showed, we have a slight fixation on manners in public transport. Especially during rush hour, people are stuck together way closer and for way longer than they should. Do not make them hear a one-hour conversation with your best friend about last night’s party or what birthday gift you should get your partner.
6. Intimate conversations
What is romantic, sexy or cute between two people is stomach-churning to the rest of the world. Pick your words carefully when you are surrounded by strangers, especially children. And do note that in packed trains your screen might be in our face against our wishes and better judgement so scroll through intimate photos at another time. Don’t make us poke our eyes out.
7. Thou shalt not ignore
It’s ok to check your newsfeed when you’re having a lazy night in with friends but, otherwise, the people in front of you deserve your attention and it’s just plain horrible to be on the phone when someone is serving you in a store. If you need to take a call, at least offer an apology and keep it brief. On the same note, asking for the wifi password as soon as you enter someone’s home is like saying that you’d rather be whatsapping your real friends.
8. Office hours
We probably don’t need to tell you why spending your working day laughing at memes and messaging friends is inappropriate. When at work, keep your phone on silent and only check sporadically. On the other end of the spectrum, unless your work involves a duty rota, avoid initiating or responding to work communications in the evenings and weekends. Some people have a life and want to keep it that way, can you imagine that?
9. I’ll get back to you
Just to be clear, it is perfectly acceptable to not pick up your phone or respond to texts straight away, unless you know that an actual emergency is in progress. However you should follow up on all calls and messages when you become available and within a reasonable timeframe.
Values change with time and so does our approach to technology. Being switched on 24/7 and looking busy and in demand was once a status symbol but wellbeing and work/life balance are back in vogue. If you’re reading this on your mobile device, we hope that it’s not while someone is trying to have a conversation with you. In fact, rather than worrying about what you’re going to miss out on, why not follow us on Instagram and Facebook, @AristocracyLondon, and check our latest style tips at your own pace. You can also sign up to our newsletter and receive offers and updates on our blogs and collections directly to your inbox for you to review at your leisure.