Mobile Phone Manners for the Modern Gentleman
Good manners aren’t a relic of the past and the only people who snub them are the ones who don’t possess any. Social conventions constantly change and adapt to the times. Take mobile phones for example. When they first launched, everyone flaunted them like prized possessions and strived to be on them as much as possible. Now we regret being contactable 24/7 and we acknowledge that ignoring the people in front of us in favour of a screen is vulgar.
So let’s try to agree on a mobiquette, or the mobile phone manners that we all need to possess in order to reduce eye-rolling 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 shouldn’t be allowed out unsupervised. What if you bump into all the other people who’re 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. Keep your mobile our of sight during ceremonies, in the dinner table and where darkness is part of the experience, e.g. theatre. Suit jackets have inside pockets that can keep your mobile phone safe and close.
3. The sound of silence
When we share an enclosed space with others, it’s 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
Surprisingly, people may not be interested in you so keep the volume down when listening to music, choose for a discreet ringtone and take calls in a reasonably low voice. Don’t be that person who yells “Can you hear me?” down the line. They clearly can’t so hang up.
5. Public transport
You’ve probably gathered from our recent blog on tube etiquette that we have a slight fixation with manners in public transport. Please don’t make us hear a one-hour personal conversation.
What’s romantic or sexy between two people is stomach-churning to the rest of the world. Remember this when you have phone conversations in public. Also, in packed trains your screen might be in our face 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, 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 that spending your work 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 work communications out of hours. Some people have a life and want to keep it that way, can you imagine?
9. I’ll get back to you
It’s 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 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, if you follow us on Instagram and Facebook, you can catch up on all the latest trends in menswear whenever you have time.