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What Would Emily Post Do?: Smart Phone Etiquette

It is a different world out there, people! Long gone are the days when you could leave the house and not have access to the phone, your email, or even (for the love of Harry) your Twitter feed. These days information is omnipresent, always at your fingertips, and you know, the itch to check your Instagram feed is sometimes so overwhelming . . .

There is a definite need for a smart phone standard of etiquette, I should say. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? In the middle of a long and painfully detailed story when suddenly our captive audience pauses to look down at a text message and then, while you’re still trailing on, stops paying attention entirely to reply back? And you sort of look around and wonder, “What is the proper thing to do in this situation? Do I keep talking? Is this not rude? Or is this the new normal?”

The ins and outs of smart phone etiquette: how to handle autocorrect gaffes, when is it appropriate to check your email, is it ever polite to take someone’s picture unknowingly? All after the jump!


  • “Hang On, I Have To Take This” 1 of 11
    "Hang On, I Have To Take This"
    Is it ever appropriate to take a phone call or respond to a text message mid conversation? How about on a dinner date? Emily Post says Yes! If the phone call comes during dinner, excuse yourself and take the call in another room, but only take the important calls, and set your phone to vibrate so the ringer isn't irritating to those around you. (Afraid you won't make it out before the call goes to voicemail? Answer the phone and ask, "Can you hang on a second?" until you can get away.)
    Image Credit STREETFSN
  • Is Any Place Sacred? 2 of 11
    Is Any Place Sacred?
    As a general rule, Emily Post says you should never take or make a call in the following places: a library, a theatre, in church, or at the table in a restaurant.
    Image Credit Lela Luxe
  • Keep It In Con-Text 3 of 11
    Keep It In Con-Text
    When texting, be hyper aware of the fact that anything you type in with your thumbs can be seen by anyone.
    Image Credit The Fashion Spot
  • And Furthermore . . . 4 of 11
    And Furthermore . . .
    Emily Post says text messages are never the appropriate medium for relaying bad news, business matters, or other timely information.
    Image Credit Posh 24
  • You Don’t Always Have To Answer 5 of 11
    You Don't Always Have To Answer
    Remember back in the day when we didn't have caller ID? And if someone called and you didn't answer you were out of luck? And you'd just never know who called? It's not like that anymore. You can let that call go to voicemail.
    Image Credit Trendy Crew
  • Cell Phones On The Table 6 of 11
    Cell Phones On The Table
    Cell phones are awfully uncomfortable in your back pocket when you're sitting down, but that doesn't mean you should EVER take it out and set it on the table. A cell phone on the table is a clear indication that you only intend to be engaged so long as nobody more interesting is attempting to contact you.
    Image Credit Flickr
  • The Facts Are Startling! 7 of 11
    The Facts Are Startling!
    According to emilypost.com, 80% of people polled reported feeling irritated when seeing a mobile device in places such as the doctors office, the grocery store, or in an elevator, and yet 77% of people polled admitted to using mobile devices in these same locations. People, it's an epidemic! (I always check my email in the elevator, it's like I'm Pavlov's dog. Ding! Do I have an email?)
    Image Credit Lyst It
  • How Many Times A Day? 8 of 11
    How Many Times A Day?
    emilypost.com issues a challenge to mobile abusers to count the number of times a day we use our phones in a way that would be considered "rude" to others, and then slowly work towards zero. I thought about it, and if I were to count my abuses, the number would be stupidly high. (Hello, Instagram addict!) ("I just have to pick a filter first!")
    Image Credit Lyst It
  • Can You Hear Me Now?! 9 of 11
    Can You Hear Me Now?!
    Be in control of your cell phone voice. These days, phones are high tech enough to pick up your melodious tones even when you're speaking softly. So, in other words, please don't shout into your phone. Shouting is never polite.
    Image Credit Hot Gossip Cool Jams
  • Check Your Ringtone 10 of 11
    Check Your Ringtone
    Offensive ringtones rank way up there as the most irritating part of cell phones, and that is saying something. Resist the urge to download the latest Lady Gaga jam and instead opt for something soft, understated, and classic. (Or else just leave it on vibrate at all times.)
    Image Credit Photobucket
  • What Can You Do If Someone’s Cell Phone Is Irritating You? 11 of 11
    What Can You Do If Someone's Cell Phone Is Irritating You?
    It's tricky, but there IS a polite way to respectfully handle someone else's poor phone manners: Get up and politely excuse yourself from the area.
    Image Credit Big Heart Diary

What would Emily Post do … send an e-vite?

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