Mobile Phone Ettiquette- Why It’s Necessary Today

Man looking at his tablet with coffee cup nearby. Mobile phone ettiquette is necessary in order to show courtesy and politeness.

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives and they play a key role in our communication and interaction with others. Hence we are not exempt from being aware of and practicing mobile phone ettiquette. In fact it is vital that we are mindful of mobile phone ettiquette if we are to keep our relationships with others on a polite and courteous level at the very least.

Our mobile phones are more often than not on our person that we tend feel lost and disoriented the rare times that we don’t have them on us.

Because of differences in our cultures and values, mobile phone etiquette may vary but I believe the core message is the same: pay others and yourself some mind.
Often times we get into arguments with our significant others because of them.
Without guidelines or proper etiquette our relationships (and sometimes our safety and our lives- I kid you not) will be in jeopardy.
See how we guard them more jealously than we guard anything else we deem of value to us.
We might be generous about sharing our food, clothes or even lending money to others, when it comes to mobile phones we want no such thing.
Let someone use our phones? Not unless we are standing guard right there while they use it if they need to. Sadly, spouses don’t trust one another with their phones…….
Leave it password free? Not a chance. And it’s not because we fear our personal and financial details will be compromised.
Security reasons aside our phones are the second most well guarded after bank vaults.
See how we mess up- do any of the things below sound familiar?

Funerals and Despacito

There is nothing more cringeworthy and which screams lack of mobile phone etiquette (and of class) than a loud ear violating ringtone.
If you know you will be paying condolences at someone’s home, the proper thing to do would be to lower your ringtone volume/ put on silent/vibrate mode. It does nothing for the poor grieving widow to hear a Latin dance number while she has or is about to bury her husband.
Speaking of burying; the same rule of silent/vibrate should apply at the graveyard. After all, graveyards are supposed to be sombre places. Places that ought to remind us that we will head there ourselves one day.

No Show

We all have the option (and the right) to either answer our ringing phones immediately or call back later when it is more convenient. And the right to respond immediately we receive a message or forward or not respond.
We also have the right to block anyone we think is an annoyance.
Having said that, it is just not ok to stay silent on a message or a forward for days on end. The sender starts wondering what she has done or whether you are angry with him. A thumbs up or “received will reply later” is common decency.
On a related note, please be aware two blue ticks on a WhatsApp message does not mean it has been read or even seen by the one you meant it for.

We can all hear you.

What is it about mobile phones that make some people shout when they speak into it?
Whether you are interested in it or not you are going to hear their entire conversation. In fact, the details are sometimes so vividly described you want to fade into the background with embarrassment. Not surprisingly, the one dishing out the Too Much Information does not bat an eyelid.

Your earphones or your life

You might know of people who usually have headphones in their ears. They seem almost surgically attached to them. They walk around the streets or ride their bikes oblivious to honking horns, ‘excuse me’ and sometimes they are texting as they walk. You have probably honked at one, bumped into one (I have) and shouted at one. You should not be putting lives – including your own- in danger because of your obsession with your phone and your noise cancellation headphones.

Your Eyes should be Up here.

Man looking at his tablet with coffee cup nearby. Mobile phone ettiquette is necessary in order to show courtesy and politeness.

Your eyes should be on the one you are in conversation with.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.

There is nothing more annoying than talking to someone whose eyes are glued to his phone. It leaves you feeling ignored and unheard. Good conversations are a start to great connections with others. And we need others. We need them to share our lives, hold our hands, cheer us on, provide their shoulders for us to cry on.

So next time you are with someone, look up and sincerely connect.

Make way my phone is coming through.

Have you seen those people who walk around with one arm outstretched? The arm that is holding the mobile phone is usually the one taking the lead. It’s the arm that walks through the shop first, that clears the way through a throng of pedestrians and is ultimately the one that pokes you in the eye..sigh.

Hands off it’s mine

Our phones are extensions of ourselves. We have photos of loved ones on there, videos of beautiful moments, perhaps our journals and of course information meant for our eyes only.

Respect my phone when I hand it to you to make a call. You have no right to scroll through my photos or my contacts list unless I tell you it’s ok.

Having said that, at the end of the day, it’s just a gadget made of plastic, glass and microchips. Not worth jeopardizing your life and relationships over.

Do you have a pet peeve about mobile phones? Please let me know in the comments below!

Share Post


I am a mother of three, born and bred in Mombasa, Kenya. I am passionate about books, writing, healthy living and getting people to see the best of themselves. Especially getting people to see the best of themselves.

Copyright © A Mombasa Mommy. All Rights Reserved. Design by Crablinks

%d bloggers like this: