'Don't Talk While On The Toilet' And Other Phone Etiquette Tips We Should All Follow

Because the person on the other end can hear you flush.

In recent years, young people have shouldered a disproportionate amount of blame when it comes to smartphone distractions. Yet, while today's youth might be more attuned to the basic trappings of their companion device, everyone who's adopted said technology deserves the same sort of scrutiny, as most exhibit at least some of the negative behaviors tied to public use. As it stands, many people, regardless of generation, have been guilty of committing at least a few smartphone faux pas. But that doesn't have to be the case! Here are some simple phone etiquette tips that everyone should follow to maintain a polite, respectful environment:


1. Don't use your speakerphone in the middle of a quiet coffee shop.

No one wants to hear both sides of your conversation. This isn't some sort of community conference call. If you're having trouble hearing the person on the other end of the line, use your earbuds or take it outside.

2. Don't listen to music or YouTube videos out loud, either.

Basically all sounds emanating from your smartphone are unwelcome when surrounded by strangers. From Spotify to Netflix, it's best to keep things quiet. Yes, that means your keyboard clicks, too. We only tolerate your annoying ringtone because we don't have a choice.

3. Don't walk with your eyes glued to the screen.

If you don't look up once in a while, how will you know where you are? You're bound to hurt yourself, and you might also hurt someone else. Pretty soon everyone's going to need their own seeing-eye dog just so they can navigate the supermarket without having to adjust their gaze.

4. Don't fiddle with your phone while your child wrecks the establishment.

If you're going to take your child to a restaurant of the mall, don't allow them to run amok while you catch up on calls or scroll through Instagram. Do your best to keep a watchful eye on your child instead, or, if it helps, involve them in your smartphone activities to hopefully distract them from a next potential tantrum. 

5. Don't mind your phone when you should really mind the gap.

Safety is of the utmost importance for you and those around you. Being distracted on your phone while in transit only increase your chances of something dangerous happening or of accidentally dropping your device between the gap and onto the tracks. Conductors have to deal with enough nonsense each day. Don't make them feel obligated to jump down into the gap to retrieve your device.

6. Don't blast your business for all in the general vicinity to hear.

Have you ever noticed that, when in public spaces, people tend to speak at megaphone volume to compensate for the din of the space around them? Spoiler alert! There's no need. If the man across the six-lane street can hear you yelling your lunch order into the receiver, the person at the other end of the line probably can, too.

7. Don't answer the phone while using the public restroom.

If your phone rings while you're in the process of using the restroom, don't answer! For some reason, people fail to realize that the person they're speaking to can hear every intimate sound. It also makes everyone else feel awkward because we know they can hear our business, too. But that certainly won't stop me from flushing. (I won't have to explain what that loud whoosh was, after all. That's on you.)

Cover image via Shutterstock


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