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Do you have cellphone etiquette?

When you go out to eat do you find it annoying when someone pays more attention to their phone than to you and the conversation at hand? If you said yes, you are not alone. According to a study by Maritz Research, 63% of people get upset at others over cellphone use, while ironically, the same percentage of people believe no one gets upset with them for their usage.

Cellphone Courtesy MonthJuly is Cellphone Courtesy Month

Do you worry about missed conversations during dinner or while trying to have a fun night with your family?

Do you have ground rules?

Do you feel like connecting (with family) is more important than –well, connecting (online)?

According to a recent study, 32% of people who dine out have bad cellphone etiquette!

This study, by Maritz Research, found that:

As may be expected, smartphone owners who are over the age of 54 have stronger etiquette beliefs than younger users.

  • Among adults 55-64, 82 percent think it is rude to check your phone while talking with someone else, and 80 percent think it is rude to check while dining.
    • 63 percent of users 18-34 think it is rude to be on your phone while talking to someone else, while 57 percent think it is rude to check while dining.
  • Women are more likely to prefer texting over men. They are also more likely to have checked or used their phone to avoid conversations.

Is it any wonder that when a restaurant in NYC set to find out why they were getting more service complaints now versus ten years ago, they found that people tend to use their phone more often and are distracted at the dining table?

Tips for improving courtesy by busy cellphone users:

While having great service like the realiability of U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network can be really great for being able to stay in touch. Sometime knowing when to turn it off can be more fulfilling!

Set the ground rules. If you have plans to meet a relative for dinner or spend happy hour with a group of friends, discuss expectations for phone use. By determining technology use before the gathering, everyone is able to enjoy the occasion.

Seek to understand. Focus on similarities instead of differences and set a goal to understand those around you. By understanding other’s wireless device use, you’ll be more courteous of their expectations.

Don’t be a buzz kill. Putting a phone on vibrate during a meeting or event can be a good idea, as vibration mode is meant to alert only you. However, it can distract others if the phone is placed on a table in a meeting or meal.
Put the phone in a pocket, where it can alert you to a call but isn’t disturbing others. If you forget to turn off the ringer and get an unexpected call, phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 stop ringing by simply flipping over the device.

Avoid being blinded by the light. Adjust screen brightness prior to entering a dimly lit space, such as a restaurant, recital or school play. This allows you to use the device to take photos or use social media without disturbing those around you.

Create a family agreement. You have your expectations, but does your family know them too? If you set up a parent-child agreement, not only can you customize what your expectations are for your family, you can create a discussion with your family about safe and respectful cellphone use.

To create your own customizable parent-child agreement, U.S. Cellular has set up a very easy to use template. Just head over to their Better Moments page and set-up your agreement today.You can add things like not making online purchases, to following school policies, to no texting and driving.

You can also use the family protector service offered by U.S. Cellular. You can monitor your child’s location, texts, call history, and more.


So tell us…

What rules do you have in place in your home when it comes to cellphone etiquette? Have you had a discussion with your kids about what and where it is acceptable to use their phone?

Have you set up a parent-child agreement yet?



Disclaimer:  Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.
Photo Credit: textingndriving.wordpress.com
I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade and have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.




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21 Responses to Do you have cellphone etiquette?

  1. Ronda July 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    My family has horrible cell phone etiquette :(. It is something I have been trying to work on though 🙂

    • Jesica H July 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      Oooh, download the family agreement and do a plan together. That way they are more committed to it!

  2. Mel Outnumbered July 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    I get so annoyed when people are constantly on their phones! We all text more than talk, but even the constant texting gets annoying.
    Mel Outnumbered recently posted…Franco Sarto Metro Sandals from ShoebuyMy Profile

  3. Daisy July 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    I love talking together as a family about cell phone etiquette. My immediate family is not too bad, but our extended family is crazy with their cell phone behavior.

  4. Sara P. (@SensiblySara) July 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    My kids don’t have phones yet. My husband and I make sure to point out if the other is on their phone too much.
    Sara P. (@SensiblySara) recently posted…2014 Toyota Sienna XLE {#Review}My Profile

  5. Robyn July 16, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    you have some great reminders here. I admit i am not always the best about following cell phone etiquette
    Robyn recently posted…Family Fun in Pigeon Forge at WonderWorks!My Profile

  6. cindy July 16, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    My kiddos are too young for cell phones, but I was totally guilty of bad etiquette at the eye doctor today. I took a call while walking in to check in :/. in my defense, it was the babysitter!
    cindy recently posted…“I’VE BEEN SHOT!” Autism & AnxietyMy Profile

  7. Kimberly Grabinski July 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    My kids don’t have cell phones yet but I try to have good cell phone etiquette.
    Kimberly Grabinski recently posted…10 Chemicals Found in Dryer Sheets & How to Avoid ThemMy Profile

  8. Melissa July 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    I probably don’t have the best etiquette! I need to set some rules!
    Melissa recently posted…Don’t Let Bugs Feel at Home Thanks To Hot Shot® Insecticides #HotShotMy Profile

  9. Valerie Remy-Milora July 17, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    Ugh I get sooo annoyed when people can’t put their phone down for more than five minutes and especially when they bring their phones to the table. We have a “no-phones-at-the-table” rule in our house. We had a handful of my older daughter’s friends over for dinner for her birthday and I was shocked that they ALL sat down and immediately pulled out their phones. One quick look at my face and my daughter informed them of the house rule.. Thankfully they all complied.
    Valerie Remy-Milora recently posted…Some Goodbyes Are Harder Than OthersMy Profile

  10. Andrew July 17, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    We have relaxed rules about cell phones in our house. That’s because we don’t use them (very often). Yup, we’re those people! You know, the ones who don’t watch the world through a tiny screen 🙂
    Andrew recently posted…Buy Local or Shop Big Box Stores?My Profile

  11. Crystal July 17, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    I admit, we’re terrible here about cell phones and using them when we shouldn’t. But I’m always checking email and my guy is on his for work, too. There has to be a line, though.

  12. Jessica July 17, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    I can’t stand when people are on their phone ALL the time. I have good cell etiquette… I don’t own one! hehe
    Jessica recently posted…Exploring Fundy National Park’s Laverty FallsMy Profile

  13. Liz Mays July 17, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    It seems like people check their phones during any lull in conversation or pause. It’s the weirdest thing; it’s almost like it’s a space filler.
    Liz Mays recently posted…Summertime Snacks and the Printin’ is Easy #CanonPIXMAMy Profile

  14. Malia July 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Everywhere I go I notice everyone on their cell phones! I just recently got a smart phone, but still barely use it.
    Malia recently posted…#Kohls101 – Back-to-School Shopping at Kohl’sMy Profile

  15. Sharon July 18, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    There are definite times when the phone is off limits. It’s hard to set those limits when you feel like your job and life is pressing you to be available 24/7 but it’s so necessary.
    Sharon recently posted…12 Ways to Recycle Trash & Create TreasuresMy Profile

  16. Crystal July 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    I do try to be aware of others around me when I’m talking on my phone. A lot of the times I’ll move to a location where there aren’t many people.
    Crystal recently posted…Planes: Fire & Rescue Movie ReviewMy Profile

  17. trisha July 18, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    Thats an excellent point on the buzzing on the table! That DOES drive me nuts!
    trisha recently posted…5 Ways I Sparkle Everyday #SparkleWithDASANIMy Profile

  18. Sarah @ Must Have Mom July 18, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    I’ll admit this is something I need to get better at. It is extremely rude during dinner for sure.

  19. Kasey July 18, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Our kids aren’t old enough for phones yet – but have iPods. We all turn them off at dinner and meals. That will be a rule we always have.
    Kasey recently posted…No Sunny Windows? These Plants Are Perfect for Your HomeMy Profile

  20. Bri T September 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    My husband and I do this to each other alot. I’m trying to get better because it does drive me nuts.

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