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Mobile Phone Etiquette

Wed 10 Jul, 2013 // Firstnumber Team
Mobile Phone Etiquette

After the story of a woman who was refused service by a checkout assistant because she was on her phone hit the headlines last week, there has been heated debate surrounding mobile phone etiquette and what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. With mobile phones having become a permanent fixture in many people's lives, is our obsession with these electronic gadgets spelling an end to good manners?

According to Ofcom, the number of mobile phone subscriptions in the UK currently stands at 82.7 million - greatly exceeding the total population of around 63 million. In the year 2000, just half of UK adults owned a mobile phone – this figure now stands at 92% of all adults in the UK. Faced with this reality, it seems that social etiquette has fallen by the wayside as many people learn (and struggle) to adapt to the relatively recent inclusion of mobile technology in their everyday lives.

Debrett's, Britain's definitive guide to modern etiquette and manners, has now produced a guide of dos and don'ts when it comes to mobile phone etiquette, some of which include:

  • Monitor the volume of your ringtone; if it blares out and heads turn, it's too loud.
  • Ensure that your mobile phone conversation is not disturbing other people […] try and respect your own, and other people's privacy.
  • Your mobile phone is not a megaphone, so don't shout...
  • Don't carry on mobile phone calls while transacting other business – in banks, shops, on buses and so on. It is insulting not to give people who are serving you your full attention.
And perhaps most importantly...
  • People in the flesh deserve more attention than a gadget, so wherever possible, turn off your phone in social situations.

So perhaps we should all give a little more thought to the world around us before next using our mobile phones. Or why not revert to using our landline phones more often? Firstnumber offer cheap international calls to over 250 countries from UK landlines.

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