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.