5 Ways Etiquette Makes Life Easier

Mobile Etiquette: Put Down Your Phone
Emergencies come up, but the vast majority of the time, people are just using their mobile phones for non-urgent tasks. It’s OK to not look at it for a while. Enjoy the people around you! © shironosov/iStockphoto

You turn your cart down the bleach and detergents aisle and there she is. You heard her three aisles away, having what you'd consider a private phone call on speakerphone while browsing the fabric softener. Is this better or worse, you wonder, than the guy in the cereal aisle who was listening to music — without headphones?

More than 80 percent of Americans admit they get irritated with people who break the implied social graces of cellphone usage in public places. In fact, it bothers us so much that we notice people's bad mobile manners an average of five times a day. Social graces and cell phones? Yes, you're judging, whether you realize it or not. And what's funny about all of this is 77 percent of us admit we don't bother adhering to good mobile manners, ourselves [source: Post].

Good mobile etiquette includes not only being aware of your proximity to other people (don't forget to use your "inside" voice, if you're near someone else), but, and perhaps most important of all, having an overall consideration for others.

Know when to silence or stash your phone. Don't use your phone or any other mobile device (even just glances to check for new messages) when you're in a restaurant. You're holding up more than just your own dinner when you waste time texting instead of reading the menu. The same goes for when you're in an enclosed space with other people (such as on a train or in an elevator), or when you're supposed to be interacting with the people with you — you know, in person.