12 Most Inappropriate Times and Places to Use Your Smartphone

12 Most Inappropriate Times and Places to Use Your Smartphone

Are you that guy or gal who always seems to have their phone glued to their ear? Don’t get me wrong, I love technology but I don’t think that my decision to get an iPhone was very smart. Why? Because I can’t put it down! Know the feeling? Then you just might be guilty of some of these. I know I am guilty of one or two but we will just leave it at that.

1. The Movies

So the canned intro already told you to shut off your ring tone and I thank you for doing so but…we can still see the glow of your screen from several rows back. Put it away please! If you cannot wait 2 hours to check your email or respond to a text, then you should excuse yourself from the theatre or rent movies to watch at home.

2. A First Date

This really applies to any date. What gives with whipping out your phone and putting it on the table alongside the knife and fork? I don’t get it. Yes, I know you turned your ringer off. Man, do I feel special. How about keeping it in your pocket or, better yet, in the car and give me your undivided attention?

3. Church

Do not text, send or respond to emails or check the weather while you are at church. I’m not a churchgoer myself, but this is so disrespectful to the ‘house’ you are in and the people around you. We see you doing it out of the corner of our eyes, so knock it off!

4. When Someone is Talking to You

Ever catch yourself in a conversation with someone and then their phone dings and they look and just have to respond? You find yourself talking to someone viciously tap tap tapping away at the keys now nodding at everything you are saying. Hello?!? Are you listening or is the person you are texting just way too important? If so, maybe I should leave you alone so you can talk to them.

5. In a Meeting

All joking aside, are you seriouslyt texting me from your crotch while your manager is holding a department meeting? Why? If you are that bored, then add something to the meeting! Make a suggestion about an alternative format or ask a question about something he/she is discussing. If your manager believes the meeting is important (and not all are, I am so with you on that one), then you should too. So pay attention or take it outside.

6. At a Wedding

Someone invited you to their wedding and you are on your phone. I’m not talking about at the reception party; I am talking about the ceremony. I am Greek so I understand looooong ceremonies but just pay attention or pretend you are anyways. The bride and groom didn’t just invite everyone they had an address for; they wanted you to be there. So, be there! *if you are someone’s date to a wedding this is a major, over-the-top, o so bad no-no!

7. While You Are Getting Your Teeth Cleaned

Mouth wide open, toothpaste flying, bright light shining in your eye and you are on your phone typing away. Really? You need to work every second of every day literally that you can’t take out 20 minutes to have your teeth cleaned without using your phone?

8. In the Bathroom Stall

We can hear you! Why are you talking on your phone in the bathroom stall? Yes, maybe you really are not doing your ‘business’ while on the phone and are seeking a private location, but it’s really gross and weird for the rest of us that need to use the facilities.

9. During an Interview

Are you serious with this one? The person interviewing you steps out to use the loo and you scramble for your phone so you can check your email, listen to a voicemail and respond to all the ever so important text messages you got during the last hour? You might not get caught but you could and even though that person has left the room, you have no idea who else may walk by or walk in. If the opportunity means anything to you, wait until you are back in your car or down the street.

10. While Driving (texting only apply unless there are other people in the car)

I have a couple rules on this one. First of all, I cannot stand those cars with Bluetooth and the drivers of said cars who answer calls on it while you are the passenger. SO awkward! Even if I so much as sneeze, the person calling will know I ( or someone) is in the car and can hear everything. And it makes me nervous to call my driving friend in the future for fear my voice will be amplified in surround sound. Second, don’t text and drive but especially don’t text and drive when other people are in the car. We can see you not paying attention and we don’t like it. If you want to text and drive and risk your own life, by all means (well, don’t do it because we don’t want to see anything happen to you). But with me in the car? No way buck-o.

11. Standing in Line to Check-Out

Oh how obnoxious this is it erks me so bad! True, I have had my phone go off while standing in line but I rarely answer and if I do its to say ‘I’m checking out and I’ll call you back.’ That’s all you have to do. I guarantee you will not be in line forever so just wait a second and then call when you are outside.

12. In Bed

Ok, if you are alone, then do it by all means, what do I care. But, if you are lying next to someone, please don’t pick up the phone and start chatting in bed. Texting and emailing also is a no-no. If you must react, pick-up or respond, then get out of bed and do it.

Truth time! What are you guilty of and what smartphone usage behaviors do you think are inappropriate?

Featured image courtesy of yago1.com licensed via creative commons.

Christina Pappas

Christina Pappas is a Inbound Marketing Professional with a passion for content marketing, lead generation and social media. She is an avid blogger at The Content Cocktail which focuses on how to leverage a vendor agnostic approach to lead generation in order to increase conversions and bottom-line revenue. Christina is a marketing communications and lead generation professional who has spent most of her career at B2B technology companies and in the hospitality industry.

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41 comments
ReeseCcup
ReeseCcup

I think the very worst smart phone offense I've encountered was at the check out. The woman in front of me decided to do her banking as she is at the register, "Oh I had a big shopping spree this weekend (this was a Tues) and I need to transfer funds, oh that was the wrong account." I DID confront her on her rudeness, and she in turn told me to have some respect for her and that I wasn't being kind. LOLROF... As it took an extra 5 min. to do her banking while we stood in line waiting on her.

NatalieCarlsen
NatalieCarlsen

I hate when people use their cell phones while waiting in line. I work at a coffee shop and it's really hard to talk to someone and get their order correct when they aren't speaking directly to you. Or paying attention to the situation. I guess some of the time though I'm pretty inappropriate with my cell phone usage too.

prosperitygal
prosperitygal

Ok I agree with all of them but the check out line. I saw you made comment below about texting etc... I agree if I cannot leave then I do to want to hear you and your drama on the phone.

I complained in twitter today about a woman who was using her phone in Barnes and Noble I was like "Shut the %^&*" up we did not come here to listen to you and your family drama, why " he will never become responsible- that %^&* needs to be discussed AT HOME.

Like my friend Gary V says "the end"

Amy Parmenter
Amy Parmenter

Missing...#13 At A Funeral

No kidding.

It's been done.

Amy Parmenter

The ParmFarm

MorganBarnhart
MorganBarnhart

I admit, I definitely check my phone when I'm in the check out line. But I get bored easily. I put it away immediately when I get to the part where I pay. I don't want to be there anymore than anyone else does, but I feel I need to entertain myself somehow before paying for my stuff.

Anyway, I agree with all of these, though. Most of it just seems like common sense. It just baffles me how common courtesy has lost all meaning with the introduction of apps.

Great post!

westfallonline
westfallonline

Too many connections, too little time! How did we ever function without being constantly connected? The best stories are the ones that are the most real and the most relatable - and you've got the 12most right here! Great job, Christina - right on the money!

Latest blog post: Seminar Survey

jhighduch
jhighduch

#9... I actually had to stop and interview once and ask: " So, do you know why I'm not hiring you?". This was actually reading texts while answering my questions. Really??

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick moderator

Hello Christina!

Such a great list! I am definitely guilty of #12 - I use my iPad all the time in bed.

Great post!

Peggy

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

What if the wife is using the Kindle in bed, does that mean I get a pass? :)

This is a great list, and I am amazed that so many people find the internet or their email more interesting than the person in the room with them.

KristenDaukas
KristenDaukas

I'm guilty of a few of these as it relates to texting, but I rarely answer my phone if I'm around other people unless it's one of my kids, husband or client who usually doesn't call. Other than that.. I let it roll to voicemail.

NancyD68
NancyD68

I dated someone who used to always be on the phone during our dates. Really annoying. Now, I do not even bring my phone with me when I am out to dinner - with ONE exception - since I have a young child, if he is with a sitter, I MUST have the phone on the table on silent in case she calls.

I have tweeted from the bathroom. I refuse to talk in there. I too find it creeyp.

As a commuter, I will add pubic transportation to this list. Keep it to text. I don't want to hear your fight with your spouse, or whatever else you have going on.

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV

I hate to say it but I am guilty of at least half of these.

I disagree on the bathroom btw - very good time to get some surfing/replying done. However do not talk on the phone at that time :)

Here are some other places I suggest not using your smart phone

1. At the gym (especially while exercising) guilty by the way

2. In a restaurant (walk away)

chrissdaviss
chrissdaviss

@NatalieCarlsen Whilst getting served, yeah, that's a no-no, but I can't see anything directly rude with occupying yourself by passing the time via your phone whilst waiting in a line.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@NatalieCarlsen So bad! I was behind someone at the Wendy's drive-thru the other day and I could hear a person talking on their phone 2 cars ahead of me! And they were trying to order at the same time. If you cannot hang up, at least put it down to place your order, pay and get out of the way of the person behind you.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@prosperitygal Agree! I think its funny that sometimes I am on the phone in my car and when I get to the store I say 'gotta go, Im going in the store now' to which the person responds 'you cant talk in the store?!?' Ummm - NO!

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@Amy Parmenter I almost added funerals to the list but seemed morbid and I was kind of hoping we had more respect than that. Sorry to hear that people are actually doing this! Knock it off people!

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@MorganBarnhart You can check your phone in the check-out line all you want, just dont pick it up and start yacking on it when people are literally 'stuck' all around you. I read email and text while in line too - no biggie!

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@westfallonline I miss the good ole days of not being connected all the time (although I dont really miss driving around looking for a payphone and asking people to 'borroww' a dime to call my friends) but have we taken things tooo far? We really need to start paying more attention to the people that are right there in front of us.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@jhighduch That is unbelievable! Did they die of embarassment? What happened?

I have been tempted to look at my phone during job interviews (when the person left the room anyways) but held myself back.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@PegFitzpatrick I would be in big trouble if I used any device in bed so I dont even go there. But, I do like to read in bed and if I had an iPad or a Kindle, I probably would do this on the condition that my partner is doing it too.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@jpJeremy You get a free pass if she is reading her Kindle and you are on your phone checking email or whatever :)

Dont even get me started on this other point you made here. Teenagers are notorious for hanging out with friends and texting everyone else to see what they are doing. I take my 17 year old cousin out to dinner and she is not talking to me, she is texting all her friends under the table. Why dont we enjoy the people who are right in front of our faces while they are here with us instead of texting someone else?

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@KristenDaukas Its hard to resist that urge to text back - huh? I find it much easier to ignore a phonecall than a text myself so sometimes I just have to leave the entire device in another room. True example: last night I was at a friend's house and I left my phone in the house while we hung out outside by the bonfire. Did anyone text me? Sure. But it wasnt in front of me tempting me to text back. Sometimes you gotta hit the silent button and put your phone out of reach to avoid the distraction altogether.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@NancyD68 I was out to dinner one time with some friends and we ordered a giant plate of nachos. Just as I was about to grab some, my friend yells 'wait! I wanna take a picture and put it on my wall.' I didnt have a smartphone at the time and I am not actively on Facebook. I could not believe I was not able to dive into this yummy plate of food because he had to send a pic of it to his 'friends'. For the next 20 minutes or so, all 3 of the people I was with proceeded to update teir Facebook status via smartphone occasionally looking up to say 'did you see that status'. I was really pissed off and left immediately.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@danielnewmanUV LOL on the bathroom note! I am definately referring to public restrooms and not the one at home - does that make a difference? :)

At the gym? I dont go to the gym so I didnt think of this (but I did see someone answer her phone in the middle of a pilates class one time)! I can totally see it now. Ponytail flying, walking on the treadmill, flapping to someone on the phone. That should not be allowed! Do gyms tolerate that?

And big no-no on the restaurants. Even if you are dining alone, the patrons around you will not appreciate it. Step outside, put it on silent, or wait to call back when you are done.

jhighduch
jhighduch

@C_Pappas

Sadly, this guy just kind of looked at me like I was being unreasonable! Wow, it really blew me away.

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

@C_Pappas It does make you wonder what "bed time" conversations between spouses will be like for the next generation.

To quote my friend this week, "She doesn't want a tv in the bedroom, because it might come between us, but that (friggin') I-Pad, well, that is ok."

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@jhighduch That is just too funny! I would have zero tolerance as well. At least you knew right from the get-go that he probably would have turned out to be one of those employees that texts their friends all day. *silver lining

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@jpJeremy Haha! I havent had a tv in my bedroom in over 3 years and I love not having it there because I read a lot more and get out of bed a lot faster :) But replacing tv with iPad? Mmmm. Interesting debate there!

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