Remember that time you were finally in a restaurant enjoying a nice quiet dinner and the woman at the next table started screaming? Took you time to realize, after your heart slowed to a race, that it was just another phone call. An important one, as it turns out, featuring her divorce lawyer. One she should be taking outside.

6 Smartphone Etiquette Fails That Will Make You EnemiesIt’s not that I can’t empathize. We all have smart phones glued to our bodies like another appendage. It’s probably the most vital device we’ve got and I for one can’t imagine life without it. But how do we learn to use our phones respectfully or at least without offending everyone around us?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been on both ends of some really rude smart phone behaviour and the emotions it’s evoked has ranged from embarrassment to annoyance to rage. Of course we know better, but still, we can all benefit from a reminder lesson in cell phone etiquette now and then.

So to check yours, take the user test below to find out if you’re one of these six smartphone offenders. No one needs to learn how you fare. Except, hopefully, you.


Recognize yourself, cell phone abuser? 

1. You’re the Text Addict

There you are, out for lunch you can hardly taste, spending your free hour nodding blankly at your companion, constantly asking for a sentence repeat. Now and again, you smile with a Huh? face, and never at quite the appropriate moment. That’s because it’s hard carrying on four other conversations simultaneously – by text. It’s not your fault, either. When someone sends you a message, your fingers seem to have OCD. A will of their own. Despite you, they just have to reply.

2. You’re the Oversharer

We get that you can’t use your hands easily while you’re sweating like a champ on the Stair Master. But does the entire gym really need to hear you fight with your sister on speaker? Sounds like a juicy story and I’d be pissed, too, but believe it or not, some of us come here to escape drama. Or we plug into the Y & R right on the treadmill. Besides, chances are, after your workout, we’ll all be treated to the abridged version of this battle on Facebook anyway.

3. You’re the Anti-Vibrator

You know there’s a Vibrate button on there somewhere darn it, but where is the little sucker? Leave it to you to “forget” to turn your phone off again – in a movie theatre, at a wedding, during a concert. Worse, you don’t have the normal ring that says Oops, sorry! Yours is always some crazy song from the 80s no one should ever hear again, like Call Me!, something that screams HEY, PEOPLE, CHECK ME OUT! I’M STILL ON!

4. You’re the Cell Yeller

Whenever you find yourself in a crowded space, like a diner or airport lounge, and the volume is turned up around you, you’re not even one bit daunted. All you do to compete is SHOUT INTO YOUR PHONE. Well, what other choice do you have if you want to be heard? Never mind that you’re murdering the eardrums of every person without a mile radius not to mention that poor sucker on the other end of the call.

5. You’re the Mood Kill

Ahhhhh. You’re sitting by the lake but you can’t hear the crickets – or feel the breeze or feed the ducks (There were ducks?). You need to be connected to your virtual lifeline 24/7 and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a holiday weekend or you’re on the dock to celebrate your brother’s 50th or sitting on the outhouse toilet. If the phone rings, you’re answering it.

6. You’re the Text Driver

The light is red but you’re not budging until the rest of us honk you into action. Heaven forbid you let Instagram happen without you for 60 seconds so you can focus on getting to where you need to go. PS. If you’re texting while the wheels are actually moving, you are basically driving drunk and should surrender your iPhone forever. Full stop.

Picturing yourself or someone you know? Share with whoever needs your help. It’s never too late, you know.

About the author

Randi Chapnik Myers

Randi Chapnik Myers is Co-Founder and Content Editor of, the only lifestyle site by women 35+ for women 35+. A journalist, blogger, editor and marketer, she specializes in custom content creation for publications, companies, brands and authors at Proud to call herself a social media addict, Randi is never far from a screen—even when she's out hunting for designer bargains.

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