Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’

People have been complaining about bad cell phone behavior for years. What are the twenty-first century’s Emily Post rules for cell phones and texting? (For the millennials: Emily Post was the great doyenne of etiquette and manners advice in the twentieth century. Her descendants still produce advice books under her name. And there actually are new-era Emily Post rules; see below.)

In 2012, John Dvorak, a tech journalist, complained that “somewhere along the line, it became okay to yak on the phone in the restaurant . . . . Nobody cares unless you are talking too loud or making a scene. . . . [T]he mobile phone has plagued etiquette on the planet . . . . [and] all the old manners have been tossed out.” That same year, a chip-making company sponsored a survey which revealed that “most adults believe that mobile manners are getting worse (81%) and wish people practiced better mobile etiquette in public (92%).” Last year, the Pew Research Center conducted a large survey on “Mobile Etiquette.” Its findings suggest that people have some real peeves, but also that some consensus on proper cell phone behavior is emerging.

This fraught discussion recalls one about a century ago about the proper manners around non-mobile, landline telephones. Indeed, people generally meet new technologies with a period of bungling exploration toward a manners of proper use. (How much do people follow the etiquette? Well, that’s another issue.)


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