The Do’s and Don’ts of Smartphone Etiquette

By Jennifer Chang

As someone who frequently writes and edits tech content for SUCCESS, I have a simple meter for how market domination works: if my mom uses or understands it, then it has a chance at becoming wildly successful. My 65-year-old mom became active on Facebook in 2009, around the same time it surpassed MySpace as the leading online social network in the United States. She also got an iPad right before Apple’s most successful selling period of the device, in the first quarter of 2013. Coincidence?

Of course, I’m (half-) joking, but smartphones and similar devices are certainly ubiquitous, even to my dear mother who used to have difficulty double-clicking. And while we have telephone etiquette and email etiquette, the parameters for social media or smartphone etiquette aren’t as clearly defined.

So as we approach the season of holiday parties and family gatherings, you might want to consider this infographic by eBay Deals on smartphone etiquette—what’s considered acceptable (or not acceptable), depending on age group, event and situation.

From unsurprising ambiguity on smartphone usage in the workplace to a surprisingly high percentage of people who approve of texting behind the wheel at the red light, the results are fascinating. I don’t know if I agree with all of the infographic’s findings, but I’m definitely introducing the phrase “phubbing” (short for phone-snubbing, or neglecting people in real life in favor of your smart phone) to my mom to see if it catches on.

What about you? Do you agree or disagree with the smartphone etiquette rules below?


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