Dean Gradidge and his friend Luiz De Almeida (behind) agree there is a need for better mobile phone manners.
Dean Gradidge and his friend Luiz De Almeida (behind) agree there is a need for better mobile phone manners. Sarah Harvey

Mobile phone manners missing

WE’VE all been there.

Sitting relaxed and peaceful in a restaurant or on a train or at the beach, until some bozo behind you gets a phone call.

“Hey man! How’s it goin’? Great night last night dude. Soooo random...” and so on.

While there are no hard and fast rules on when and where to use a mobile phone, it seems most people have a sort of unwritten code of etiquette they stick by when they can.

Problem is, developments in phone technology are making it increasingly tempting for some of us to check up on Facebook or update on Twitter when we should be making conversation with the person sitting directly opposite.

Research conducted by Telstra has found more Australians are forgetting their manners when it comes to mobile phones.

Telstra Country Wide southern Queensland manager Nigel Beaman said traditional gripes such as talking loudly on public transport and using a mobile while driving still topped the list, but smartphones were encouraging a new wave of behaviour.

“More than one third of the mobiles we sell are smartphones and Facebook use has tripled in the past year.

"While we are all eager to communicate with our friends and family, there are appropriate places and times to do so,” Mr Beaman said.

South African-born Australian Luiz De Almeida said he’d seen the same issues overseas.

“Here in Australia people tend to be a bit more tolerant of it – whereas in London I have seen a person use a pair of scissors to cut the line to a person’s headset,” he said.

“More people seem to be planning their lives through text messages and I think people will slowly lose the skills to communicate face to face.”

Ipswich resident Jasmine Angel said she often found herself breaking her own rules when it came to answering her phone during a face-to-face conversation.

“It’s one of my pet hates – but I don’t like to miss a call,” she said.

Bad ‘phone pas’

  • A restaurant isn’t your bedroom, so don’t spend your night out with friends, calling or texting a “better” friend.
  • No one should tweet what they had for lunch
  • Don’t use the movies as a time to catch up with every friend you’ve ever had
  • It’s not OK to be in a face to face conversation with someone and answer your phone.


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