Cell Phone Etiquette Do’s And Don’ts

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Cell phone etiquette. It’s, legit, a thing. How annoyed have we ALL been by someone on their phone? It’s like, “Give me your full attention, puh-lease!” Now, unless you’re Mother Teresa reincarnate or living on another planet, YOU have also been guilty in this area.

Cell phones have just become part of our human identity in the 21st century, acting as a third limb.

I mean, one could make a strong argument that Bret (my husband) and I run our businesses from our phones. Well, a few years ago, the individual time spent on our cells had reached a super unhealthy level. It wasn’t just business stuff anymore… seeping into all aspects of our lives. I’m guessing you can relate?

Too Much Time On Your Cell Is Healthy For Your Relationships

Hence, a change needed to happen. We’ve put into practice some do’s and don’ts I’d love to share with you. Hopefully, it will help with any tension that might occur around the use of your phone.

Tip #1, Have a conversation.

This could be a conversation you need to have at work or with your kids or significant other or friend. Lay it all out on the table from both ends. Both parties should talk about when they need to use their phones and how long they need to use it for.

And my tip within this tip is to pick a neutral time. Don’t choose to talk when something has gone down. Nobody should be approaching this chat from a place of defensiveness. It should be chill, yet solution-oriented.

Tip #2, Polite phrases.

There are times we can’t escape a text or a call. Let’s say, Bret and I are in the middle of a conversation. At some point, I turn away to open the fridge (this happens a lot). When I turn back to resume the dialogue, he is suddenly engaging with his cell. My polite phrase in response might be,

Oh, I didn’t realize you were on your phone. I’ll let you finish.” – and he’ll do the same.

Similar etiquette applies when YOU find yourself disengaging from conversation by looking at an alert on your smartphone.

Don't Disengage From Conversation With Your Cell

Try saying things like, “I’ve been expecting this text. Just give me a moment and you’ll have my full attention.

Tip #3, Assume everybody else also thinks it’s very inappropriate.

Imagine this scenario: You’re in a meeting. A long meeting. It’s rude to be on your phone in a meeting, but you get a notification that you’ve been waiting for. Simply say,

Guys, I don’t want to be rude. I just have to double-check this and make sure everything’s okay.

Another example: maybe you’re that person who takes notes on her phone. I know I am. Well, let people know you’re freaking taking notes! Because we all know they will assume you’re scrolling Instagram, but, in reality, you’re actually really paying attention.

Tip #4, Be kind. 

Forgiving and conscientious, too. Everyone wants to feel significant, and our phones sometimes make other people feel insignificant, unimportant. Just be aware of that.

Cell Phone Usage Can Make Others Feel Unimportant

I have a massive BONUS TIP that is really meant for YOU and your personal relationship with your phone. Listen, if you don’t think you’re dating your cell, think again! TBH, this tip will change the game for your overall well-being. You will find that on my podcast, titled: Phone Etiquette For Couples And Families (on The Chalene Show) HERE! Not to mention, I’m able to go into much more depth on each of the points above with real-life personal anecdotes I promise you’ll love! See you there!


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