My friends at AllAboutSymbian recently published an interesting piece on smartphone etiquette, stemming from a section that Debrett’s published on mobile etiquette. As mobile phones have invaded our lives, it seems as though most of us (myself included, at times) have completely forgotten etiquette and the idea that there is a time and a place for everything. With smartphones, and soon tablets, being accepted by more and more consumers, and the ‘always-on’ lifestyle gaining in popularity, it won’t be long before we’re glued to these displays 24-7, and it is going to require a conscious choice to combat this.
The Debrett’s article is rather short – a bulleted list of sixteen rules to remember when using a smartphone in public situations. Ewan at AllAboutSymbian also points to an anecdote from Patrick Rhone of a pair of friends going to lunch. One friend is rather high up at his company, and obviously uses his iPhone to manage his business when he’s away from his laptop. Despite this, when the two had lunch, the businessman actually put his iPhone on ‘airplane mode’ during their meal, as a silent sign of respect for his friend’s time.
To be honest, this is a big deal for me. I honestly can’t remember the last time I put my phone in airplane mode on purpose – probably back in October when I was actually on an airplane. However, it’s quite a bold move. On today’s smartphones, ‘airplane mode’ essentially disables all of the wireless connections that your phone may have – WiFi, cellular, Bluetooth, GPS, all of it – allowing you to still access the onboard features, but no communications will be incoming or outgoing.
While I most certainly am not ready to commit to doing this on a regular basis, I am definitely going to start doing this when I take my wife out on our date nights, and will be looking for additional situations in which ‘airplane mode’ is really the best option. What about you? When was the last time you put your phone in ‘airplane mode’ on purpose? Can you think of situations where you probably should be limiting your use of your smartphone?