Cell phones have officially infiltrated every walk of life – and now it's all about smartphones. They're like super cell phones, of course, because they do everything and give you many more opportunities to kind of ostracize the people around you. It's easy to do even if you don't necessarily mean to. The good news is that these 8 rules of etiquette for smartphone users can help you work your phone and still be cool.
1 Be Considerate to Others
You'd think this one goes without saying, but … yeah, not so much. This means being considerate to the people you call as well as the people around you. Yeah, you have IM capabilities and all that, but that doesn't mean you should try to contact a boss, client, or colleague after work hours. And don't expect an answer right away, either. Always make sure, instead, to ask someone if they have time to talk.
2 The Rule of Business Hours
Typically, business hours are 9am to 5pm. However, not everyone works such standard hours anymore. Etiquette dictates that, in general, it's cool to get in contact with someone between 7am and 9pm. You don't want to be texting or IMing or emailing someone from your smartphone late at night.
3 Don't Text Everyone
You can text your friends and family members, of course. As long as you follow the aforementioned rules, it's also completely cool to shoot your work friends and coworkers a text message or two. However, you may not want to try that with your boss or with any of your employers. Why is that? Well...
4 Know when to Text
Text messages should not be used to conduct business. Text messages should not be used to have heartfelt discussions either. You shouldn't text a boss or a client a proposal, and you shouldn't fight with your BFF or partner through text messages. It's tempting, yes, and it happens, but it's still bad etiquette because you lose so many nuances over that medium.
5 Face to Face Manners
When you're talking to someone in an actually, face to face environment, it's bad manners to be all up in your cell phone. Whether you're texting, emailing, checking out the latest movie releases, or Googling your own name, save it for some other time. It's rude to try to hold up a conversation with someone while your thumbs and your focus are plastered all over your smartphone.
6 Be Smart about Chat Speak
Emoticons and abbreviations are not always appropriate, and you need to be cautious about which ones you use. If for some reason you have to text your boss, for instance, ending your message with an anime kitty face – ahem, =^__^= – is probably not the best idea, plus it is highly unprofessional.
7 Keep It Professional
Text messages make it easy to communicate quickly, yes. And smartphones make it even easier to text messages. However, you need to remember that certain situations still require more professional emails. In fact, some of them may require handwritten letters and the like. If you do insist on sending text messages, take the time to use good grammar and punctuation.
8 Be Careful What You Say
Whether you are using your smartphone to talk or to type, be careful what you are saying. Whether you are in the office, the store, or the sidewalk, you never know who's listening or trying to read over your shoulder. Unless you're certain of your privacy, make sure you use a filter.
It's easy to ostracize people on smartphones and regular cell phones. There are other rules of etiquette – like not being on your phone while you are checking out in stores. It's just rude to the clerks, and there's no need of that. Are there any cell phone behaviors that bother you?