Thomas' Digitaler Garten

Mobile etiquette has come a long way and it's time to take a look at the new rules. Based on Debrettes

The Ten Commandments of Mobile Etiquette

  • It is increasingly the norm to text before you call and ask the recipient if they’re free to answer your call imminently or arrange a time to speak. This preamble might seem cumbersome to traditional phone addicts who love nothing more than spontaneously picking up the phone, but it is considered a much less stressful way of initiating contact, since it minimises intrusion and enables people to manage their own time.
  • Don’t expect unannounced social calls to mobiles to be answered, unless you are calling someone from an older generation who still possesses vestiges of the old obedience to the phone’s clarion call. Many people make calls (inevitably unanswered) as a simple and convenient way of ensuring that there is a “missed call” notification on the recipient’s screen. This might elicit a response, but a text is a politer and more informative option. Business calls are a different matter and are likely to be answered with much more willingness and alacrity.
  • Don’t repeatedly redial an unanswered phone, leaving a string of missed call notifications. This is liable to raise your recipient’s blood pressure and, unless there is a real emergency – in which case it would be sensible to send a text – it is an unjustified intrusion, likely to alienate the recipient.
  • If you do make a call that is unanswered, send a brief, explanatory text. Many phone-users find voice mails and voice notes onerous (though of course this is a matter of taste). But, in general, the insistence these days is on pithy, economical communications and rambling voice messages, which are often only semi-audible and frequently incoherent, can cause a great deal of frustration.
  • Always bear in mind that some people may find your call alarming. Because calls are becoming less common, people are more likely to react to them with panic or dread. If, for example, you see a call flashing up on your phone from your child’s school you instantly leap to the conclusion that there has been an accident. For this reason, callers (from schools, doctors, workplaces etc) have learnt that they may need to utter reassuring words before their greeting (“there’s nothing to worry about”). Alternatively, they can always text ahead.
  • People may not be happy to receive your call. If you’re an old-fashioned phone-user who doesn’t think twice about calling out of the blue, accept that you might be met by a response that is flustered, irritated or exasperated. People who don’t like being called will make it perfectly clear to you, saying “I can’t talk right now” or “This is a really bad time to talk”. It’s best at this point to admit defeat and withdraw.
  • Be tolerant of older people’s phone habits. As mentioned, they are more likely to make un-announced calls, and if they fail to reach you, they may well leave a voicemail, simply because they find texting (which involves reading glasses and deft fingers) hard work. Think for just a moment about how much technology has changed in their lifetimes and cut them some slack.
  • Beware multitasking and concentrate on the call. On the occasions when you decide to talk on the phone (presumably at a time that has been arranged and agreed by text), concentrate on the call. We carry our phones everywhere and think nothing of making calls when we’re on crowded transport, walking down noisy streets, doing the washing up, cooking the children’s tea. Not only are these calls often annoyingly inaudible, it is also perfectly obvious that you are making them while doing something else. This can be very alienating for the recipient, who feels marginalised and deprioritised. If you’re going to talk to somebody, find a non-distracting environment and concentrate on the call.
  • Keep phone calls to yourself. If you’re making a video call in a public space (or if you’re just too lazy to hold the phone up to your ear) you must use headphones or earbuds. Nobody should be forced to listen to your phone conversation; it will be annoyingly distracting and might be intrusive or embarrassing. The person at the other end might object if they realise their conversation is audible to a train carriage full of unwilling eavesdroppers.
  • Accept that, despite the growing tendency to favour text contact over phone conversations, there are some instances where the human voice must take priority. It is fine to send an effusive thank-you note by text, but a message of condolence will be much more appreciated if you pick up the phone and allow your voice to transmit sympathy. In general, texts are an admirably economical way of communicating, but they are not good when it comes to nuance, so if you want to convey subtle emotions or deal with a tricky situation where there is a risk of misinterpretation, it is much better to cut through the protective veil of text messaging and allow your own voice to do the talking.

mobile-etiquette.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2023/12/13 23:19 von thomasgigold