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The golden rules of modern day phone etiquette

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talktalk phone etiquette

Avoiding writing in caps, not putting less kisses than the other person and not checking your phone at the table have been revealed as golden rules of phone etiquette. Tweeting in church and being on your phone while being served at a checkout were included in the list of no-nos.

Overuse of smileys, abbreviations and attention-seeking ‘selfies’ are also frowned upon, it emerged.

Constantly checking the phone, being on a tablet or texting during a film and a general lack of conversation skill because of staring at a screen were also cited among common irritations.

The Talk Talk Mobile study also found nearly half of all Brits admitted to having text, emailed or called someone on the loo.

Jo Bryant, Etiquette Expert at Debretts, said:

“Mobile phones allow us to communicate instantly, with ease and spontaneity, but as the TalkTalk survey results show, consideration for others is essential for good mobile phone manners.

‘’People in the flesh deserve more attention than a gadget, so wherever possible do not allow your phone to distract you in face-to-face situations.”

The findings were uncovered as part of a study into the nation’s mobile phone habits to unearth the ultimate list of dos and don’ts.

Good phone practice included texting a partner good night, avoiding drunk texting and leaving it at least two days before texting after a date.

Texting a partner to update on plans, avoiding texting when angry and steering clear of trivial small talk were also found to be other good rules to go by.

Nearly a third of the study had an unfortunate experience when drunk texting that they’d rather forget, while embarrassing ‘auto correct’ mistakes and accidentally texting the boss had also occurred.

The study also found an unlucky one in ten has sent a text talking about a person to the person they were talking about by mistake leading to awkwardness.

While four in ten people have completely misinterpreted a poorly written text – with people not understanding sarcasm the most likely pitfall.

And the study unveiled the expectations of people when it comes to how long a can wait to text back before it seems rude – one in seven Brits expects a response within the hour before they get impatient.

But once 24 hours elapses without a reply, 85% of people think it’s a sign they are being ignored and will take insult.

More than a fifth of Brits thought their own phone manners may be in need of improvement and more than six in ten had someone who regularly irritates them.

Londoners were found to have the worst phone manners whilst the Scots were the most polite.

Dan Meader of TalkTalk Mobile, added:

“We are rarely ever without our mobile phones so it’s unsurprising that sometimes when we’re busy chatting, texting or surfing we fail to consider those around us.

“Nearly 70% of us know someone with bad phone manners – although only a fifth of us thought our own phone manners may be in need of improvement – so our user friendly guide aims to help people weave their way through the web that is modern phone etiquette.”


Think about the choice and volume of your ringtone
Keep inappropriate conversations about money, relationships and work private
Watch where you are walking when texting or emailing on the go
Turn off your phone in important social situations – weddings, church services and at the cinema
Watch your language when in a public space
Pay attention to where you are calling from. The echo of a bathroom is a dead giveaway.
Think about being overly affectionate in texts – putting too many kisses – if you don’t know the person too well
Wait until the next day to text someone after a first date
Give your friend your phone when tempted to drunken call or text
Consider earphone volume when watching movies or programmes on your tablet on public transport


Carry on phone conversations when making a transaction in a shop, bank or restaurant
Send more than two texts without a reply – it looks needy
Use your mobile phone or tablet when eating with family
Leave caps lock on when texting or emailing. No one wants to feel like they are being shouted at
Check your phone constantly when out with someone. Give them your full attention
Use acronyms like LOL, K, G2G
Finish a relationship by text. Be brave and do it face to face
Forward on ’round robin’ chain messages
Overdo it with attention seeking selfies
Use your phone on the toilet

talktalk phone etiquette

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