Etiquette Corner: Phone Manners

By: Erin Newkirk

Dear Erin,  

I have a friend who no matter where we are or what we are doing constantly checks her phone for text messages, posts to social media, and answers phone calls. I love her, but it bothers me and I find it kind of rude. How should I tell her?



Dear Madison,

Be honest, direct, but kind. Always the way to go in these types of situations. If your friend is "constantly" checking, it sounds like she could use a little friend-ervention anyway. Life is too short to lose it buried in her device!

So, here's how. Next time you hang out a deux, and your friend reaches for her phone, suggest you keep your phones tucked away. Simply say you want to spend some quality time together. Once she is sans distraction, calmly and sweetly point out how awesome it is to have her undivided attention and kindly confide that lately, you feel like even when you are hanging out...she's not all there because she is distracted by what's happening on her phone. Hopefully she won't get defensive, but if she does, just tell her you are speaking from the heart and that it's no big just think she's too amazing to share!

Keep it light, don't lecture, and highlight the positive (personal) outcome. These days, everyone is quick to take a stance on "phone etiquette" and what's right / what's not, but regardless of social niceties, she's your friend, nobody's perfect, and really, all other stuff aside, you just want your friend back.

Good luck!


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(photo: Cafe et Cigarette Paris, 1925)