8 Smartphone Etiquette Rules Everyone Should Follow!

Picture yourself having dinner with a friend. It’s a great evening and you are really enjoying yourself. You are in the middle of explaining this amazing thing that happened to you the other day. Then your friend's iPhone rings, he picks it up, and starts chatting about something completely different with someone else. In the middle of your story!

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Technology is everywhere and this can be good or it can be a curse! Sometimes I wish there were certain rules that were explained to you when you bought your iPhone at the Apple store. The sales person could say, "Thank you for buying a new phone. Before you leave this store there are some rules we would like you to follow." These are the eight rules I wish he would share:


1. Don’t look at your phone while playing with your kids.

Kids look at you and learn. If you keep playing with your phone while they try to get your attention, you are teaching them a behavior you don’t want them to have.

2. Don’t answer your phone while at the hairdresser.

When you are getting a haircut, you are paying professionals to take care of you. If someone calls you during this time it shows a lot of disrespect to the person cutting your hair. Before you sit down in the chair put your phone on silence, or even better, in airplane mode.

3. Don’t order food or coffee while you are on the phone.

I see this everyday. The person in front of me is just about to order when his phone rings. He picks up and tries to order and speak to the person on the other end at the same time! Again, this is really disrespectful to those trying to their job. You don’t have to pick up immediately. Order first and then call back. It will take less than five minutes!

4. Don't look at your iPhone during dinner with your family or friends.

We have all had the experience of enjoying a nice conversation when you see the person in front of you shifting their eyes from you to the phone. Why? Learn to actively listen and forget about your phone from time to time. If you find this a challenge, switch on flight mode.

5. Put your iPhone on silent in meetings, at large gatherings, and during movies.

Phones ringing at the movies are not OK. It's even worse when people pick up and start talking. Put your iPhone on silence! If there is something urgent leave the theater and call back.

6. When experiencing a fantastic moment, focus on the moment and not on your camera!

Taking a photo of a nice moment is great, but when you are at that magical place don’t forget to be in the now and enjoy. Once you have done that, get out your phone and take a nice picture.

7. Don’t use your iPhone while driving.

Do you drink alcohol and drive? I hope not. Yet, many of us still play with our phone while driving. They say it is even worse than drinking and driving. So please stop this bad habit! In my car the rule is I can only check my phone when I am standing completely still (at a red light, etc.)

8. Don’t walk and play with your iPhone.

Yes, you may be able to chew a gum and walk at the same time. But playing Candy Crush or chatting with your friend on Whatsapp is not the same thing. If you need to look at your phone, step to the side, stop and look, then continue walking.


Just a few years back we were all living without a computer in our pocket, and from what I remember, we were still OK. In smartphone coaching we teach our students the best strategies for a better life and use our phones to implement them. This does not mean that you ignore these eight simple smartphone etiquette rules.

I have to admit that I break these rules from time to time. I manage my business from my phone, so sometimes I can't help looking at my phone over and over again. I know it can be rude and I will do my best to stop this bad habit. If you catch me doing it, help me by giving me a friendly reminder.

A hammer can be used to build a house or to kill someone. A phone can be used in a good way or in a bad way. For many it becomes a source of stress instead of a helpful tool. When smartphone coaching I encourage my clients to use their iPhones in the best possible way to help them improve their lives.

If you agree with these eight rules, help me educate the world in phone etiquette by sharing this article!


Do you have any other rules you would like to add to this list?

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Author Details

Oskar Andermo's picture

Author Details

Oskar Andermo

Oskar Andermo is an author and a coach who specializes in entrepreneurship and techniques for using your smartphone to live a healthy, happy life with a meaningful purpose. You can learn more about his system on Facebook, on his website, smartphonecoachingsystem.com, or from his book about smartphone coaching. Oskar is a certified ICC coach and certified mental training practitioner. If you want to work one-on-one with Oskar, he can show you how to program your phone into an accountability partner to help you to take your life to the next level. Click here for more info on coaching combined with your smartphone.