Nearly two-thirds of Americans use a smartphone, says Pew Research. That means that two out of every three people you will interact with today will have a smartphone, whether it is for work or personal use, or both. Some will be considerate with their phones, and others will be rude or downright dangerous. Which would you rather be? We hope you said considerate! If so, here are 12 ways for you to use your smartphone wisely:
- Keep your phone off the table when having coffee or a meal with friends or business contacts. Keep your focus on the people you’re with. If you must check in, take a call or look up information, let your guest know this in advance, and ask if an interruption is OK.
- Don’t check your phone during a meeting. Keep it out of sight, in your pocket, briefcase or bag.
- Whether you are meeting someone one-on-one or in a group, silence your phone and notifications, instead of putting your phone on vibrate. You can check in after the meeting. Except for emergencies, very few situations require your immediate attention.
- Make work-related contacts during work hours. For example, don’t follow-up with a prospective employer or job candidate after business hours unless you’ve agreed to that in advance. This shows that you respect their time, and ideally, they’ll return the favor when contacting you.
- When using your smartphone in public, be sensitive to those around you, whether you are in the grocery store, walking down the street, or riding the train into work. If you are texting or talking for more than a few seconds, make sure you move out of the way and that you aren’t disrupting someone else’s work or privacy. And, of course, NEVER, EVER, EVER talk or text while driving.
- Don’t use your phone in a checkout line at a store or in the teller line at the bank. Show your respect by waiting until you’ve finished your business to use your phone.
- Reply to emails, texts and instant messages within 24 to 48 hours. If you are unplugging, let those close to you know that so they aren’t concerned if you don’t reply within a reasonable time frame.
- Auto-correct can be your best friend or a beast. Proofread your texts, instant messages and emails sent from your smartphone before hitting send, no matter how urgent your message might seem. It’s worth the extra time. If you don’t believe us, Google auto-correct blunders.
- Don’t text in front of others. Wait until you’re alone.
- Be prudent when posting to social media accounts. Will you regret that post later? Will it offend someone, particularly a prospective employer or employee? While we’d love to separate our business and personal lives, it can be difficult to do online, so make sure your posts are consistent with your personal branding. The same is true of emails. Bonus tip: Avoid religious and political posts.
- Don’t tag someone in a photo or share a photo, or news of someone else, without their permission.
- Don’t use a Bluetooth device in public. People don’t know you are on the phone with someone else and may assume you are talking to them. Talking on a Bluetooth in public also means they can hear your end of the conversation which may not be appropriate, even if it seems innocuous to you.
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Have a great week, and thanks for reading!
Diana Albertson, CEO