When I was growing up in the 90s, my parents taught me telephone etiquette. I learned to answer the phone by saying “Hello, this is Lauren” or “Hello (Insert Last Name) residence” – and to never call anyone before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
Obviously, things have changed nowadays with the introduction of cell phones. You don’t have to worry about a landline ringing into every phone in the house, waking those who are sleeping. And chances are many folks are texting in the wee hours of the night rather than trying to call their best bud on phone.
But just because technology has changed the way many of us communicate doesn’t mean we should throw out all the phone rules of our youth either. Many of them still hold true today, and in fact, the list has grown – even more of a reason to sit down with your child and discuss proper etiquette.
- Answer calls by saying, “Hello” or “Hello, this is (your name or the name of the person’s phone they are answering).” Not “What’s up” or “Yeah.”
- Avoid discussing personal topics when others can hear you.
- When you call someone speak clearly and say, “Hello this is (your name)” or “May I please speak to (name of person you are calling).”
- If someone sends you a text respond promptly, even if it only warrants an “okay.”
- If you have to leave a message speak slowly and clearly. Be sure to include your name and phone number so the caller knows who to contact.
- Lower your voice when taking calls in public and be mindful of the people around you.
- Put your phone away during dinner and mealtime. Use this time to interact with family and/or the people you are sharing a meal with.
- Avoid taking a phone call or texting if you are speaking face-to-face with someone. If it is really important, ask permission from the person you are with.
- If you are going into a library, movie theater, or restaurant, turn your volume off.
- Don’t make servers, cashiers or people trying to assist you in a store wait on you to finish a personal call or text. If you need to finish a conversation, step away from the table or move out of the line.
- Never send nude or inappropriate pictures to anyone. All it takes is a screenshot and that picture could be everywhere!!
- Be mindful of ringtones.
- Don’t light up your phone’s screen in a dark theater. It is distracting to the people behind you.
- When sharing pictures from your phone, make sure the background is tidy and there isn’t something undesirable in the background (like a toilet – yuck).