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How Smartphones Make Us Rude

It might be our new norm, but there are still humanly etiquettes that we need to adhere to.

One of the best inventions ever is a smartphone.  I cannot imagine or remember what life was like before smartphones come into my life.  Oh well, perhaps I do remember, but rather vaguely. Back then, a phone was just that – a phone, until two decades ago when Blackberry comes along; making all menial tasks of calling, sending texts, checking emails or surfing the net way friendlier – all in this little gadget we put inside the pocket or handbag.

Fast forward to 2019, smartphones have taken over our lives completely. We live in a time where calling or messaging a person in the same cubicle is considered normal. It might be our new norm, but there are still humanly etiquettes that we need to adhere to.

It is our new normal to be in the presence of our phone; all day, every day – guilty as charged!  However, when in the company of others, try to keep the phone away from sight. If you really cannot do that, place it on the table but refrain from touching the phone every five seconds; this really shows disinterest to the other party you are with.

Nothing worse than having a meal with someone who is constantly on the phone; checking emails, social media notifications and what have you. It is absolutely rude and reflects so badly on you.  If you are expecting an urgent call, explain the situation first and when the call comes, excuse yourself, step away and take the call

I was at the library a couple of days ago, wanting to get away from hustle and bustle of the city when my lovely silence was disrupted by a loud shrieking ring; causing most people to startle. Not only that, the person answered the call and talked loudly; this is a complete no!  No phones in the library or places of worship, ever. Turn down the volume of your phone and should there be an incoming call, let your voicemail to do its work.

Even though they are called ‘waitstaff’, their job is not to wait for you to finish off your call before placing an order. Do not make the waitstaff or salespeople wait while you are conversing or texting on the phone. Instead, step aside or give them a signal to come back later.  Treat others how you want to be treated; mind your manners.

Aggressive conversations or arguments should only be done in private; always filter your language.  

One of the most important rules while in the company of your mobile is always to remember to respect others’ personal space.  We live in a society and humanly etiquette should never be pushed aside for the sake of busy lifestyle and technology.

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Zu Anjalika Kamis Gunnulfsen

Zu Anjalika Kamis Gunnulfsen is the Marketing In Asia's Editor for Singapore. She is also a certified Image Branding & Lifestyle Consultant. Born in Singapore and blessed to have lived in a couple of other amazing cities in the world, Anjalika is currently expatriating in Kuala Lumpur. Follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram. You may also reach her by email at anjalika@marketinginasia.com.

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