In this era of blackberrys and iphones, manners seem to have gone by the wayside. Instead of receiving a hand-written thank you note, you probably receive an email or even a text. Instead of receiving a phone call to let you know your client will be late, you receive a text or worse…nothing at all. Those are just two examples of how smartphones have begun to change the rules of etiquette. As an etiquette consultant I don’t necessarily like the fact that hand-written thank you notes are becoming a lost art, but it’s reality – especially with younger generations.
However, there are rules of etiquette that should be followed when a smartphone has begun to rule your world.
Never interrupt a face to face meeting to check your messages – The only time it is acceptable to do so is if you warn the person you are with that an important message may be coming through. Otherwise, it can wait!
Never leave the ringer on during an important meeting – Even if you are expecting an important message, set the phone to silent.
Avoid lewd ringtones – I’ll never forget…I was in Blockbuster quietly looking for a movie when the person next to me farted…or so I thought. It turned out to be his ringtone. I was mortified and to tell you the truth I think he was a bit embarrassed himself. Can you imagine that happening in front of a client or your boss?
Never text or email while driving – It is extremely dangerous and people have actually died doing it!
Never text in the middle of a moving crowd – You will inevitably run in to someone or slow others down, so stand off to the side until you complete your text or email.
Don’t send anything over text that you wouldn’t want someone else to see – Because it’s going to happen. Someone else is going to see it. I promise.
Smartphones are extremely handy, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget your manners.
Erin Sharplin Love
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