According to a Lemelson-MIT Program study, 30 per cent of us have a love-hate relationship with our smartphones. It’s even so bad that LG Electronics study recently stated that low battery anxiety grips 90 per cent of people whenever their phone drops below a 20 per cent charge.
In Canada, there are over 26 million smartphone users, while the United States boasts some 327 million users. With these kinds of statistics, it’s important that to take note of some appropriate smartphone behaviour.
This is especially true entrepreneurs and small business owners, as success often depends on impressing others – whether they’re clients, customers, partners or peers.
Proper etiquette is key to looking your best in business. Here are six smart rules for smartphone usage.
1. Be Conscientious of Others
If you’re in public, particularly if you’re in a crowd, always try to find a more polite place to continue your conversation. What you’re discussing really isn’t interesting to people, especially since they can only hear half of the call.
For example, if you’re at a busy bus stop, walk partway down the block, and if you’re in a movie theatre, go into the foyer. If you really can’t find a quiet place away from others, at least consider your surroundings and adjust the volume of your voice accordingly.
2. Be Respectful and Pay Attention
Consider where you are texting. Are you in a meeting, or are you doing it during a conversation? If it’s really that urgent, excuse yourself and reply with a phone call.
Trading the attention of a friend or colleague for a piece of equipment is poor form, no matter what situation you’re in.
3. Take it To-Go
If you are dining and need to take or make a call, it’s probably best to excuse yourself from the table to find a more suitable area to talk.
On the other hand, if you’re sharing a meal with an associate or client and they’re on the phone, it’s probably best to let it go. While they may be impolite, in business, it’s best to take the high road.
4. Speakerphones and Silly Ringtones
Be courteous to those around you by only using speakerphone at home or behind the closed door of your office. Make sure let the person on the other end of the phone know they’re on speaker or if there are other people in the room listening, too.
Also, be aware that if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re always representing your business. Ensure that your ringtone remains appropriate.
5. Watch Where You’re Walking
If you’re walking and need to text, email or hunt for contacts on your phone, step away from foot traffic areas. Bumping into something or someone isn’t very pleasant for anyone and could be could be hazardous to your health.
It’s actually become such a problem that some municipalities in Europe, such as Augsburg, Germany have started to insert traffic lights onto sidewalks as a safety precaution to catch the attention of those transfixed to their phone.
6. Safety First
Just say, “No,” to driving while texting or calling people without a hands-free device. It’s highly dangerous to those in your car and everyone else on the road, not to mention that it’. This is more than a matter of manners or etiquette; proper driving and phone usage is all about safety.
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