Mobile Phone Etiquette

When it comes to phone and social networking, Australians have lost their manners.

Hands up if you’ve browsed through emails on your phone during a work meeting, answered a call over dinner, or updated your Facebook status while on the run. Yes?

Well, according to a recent study conducted by Telstra, we’re all guilty of at least one of those!

While the most common ‘Phone-Pas’ offences by Aussies include holding an innappropriate conversation in public and being distracted by the phone while driving, with 80% admitting to doing both, the study found that 60% of women are so obsessed with their phones, they keep tapping while they’re in bed!

They’re results that have leading social etiquette expert Anna Musson cratching her head – particularly when we all know what we’re doing is poor form!

“Telstra’s research revealed one-third of Australians witness a Phone-Pas daily, but the majority of us are actually guilty of the etiquette offences we most dislike others doing,” says Anna.

So, where do you sit in the mix?


THE PEACOCK (34%) – You’re the person who is constantly posting Facebook status updates, checking-in your friends, and talking loudly on your phone. You do all of this mostly to let everyone know just how fabulous your life is!

THE MOVER AND SHAKER (29%) – You’re constantly on the go and you just can’t function without your mobile within close reach – whether it be for work or socialising. You’re the person who is most guilty of answering calls during a meeting or texting at the dinner table.

STIMULATION SEEKER (19%) – You simply can’t sit still and love passing the time by catching up on everyone else’s goss. Whether you’re on the bus, crossing the road or stuck at traffic lights, you’re always browsing Facebook or searching for hot new apps.

I SEE, I DO (18%) – You’re guilty of poor mobile etiquette because you tend to follow others. Whether it’s checking a text mid-conversation or talking loudly at your work desk, your approach is ‘well, if everyone else is doing it…!’


“When it comes to navigating the complex world of mobile etiquette, I recommend a couple of simple tips,” Anna says. “Firstly, save it for later – there are some discussions that should not take place over a mobile phone or in public. Secondly, be ‘socially sensitive’ – a picture, status update or check-in can say a thousand words, so always think before you post.”

1. Choose your timing carefully. The phone shouldn’t be part of the table setting, so save the phone calls and texts until after dinner!

2. Keep it to yourself. No one really needs to know what you had for breakfast or your latest coffee order.

3. Ask before you post! Always ask for permission before taking a photo of a friend and posting it online for all to see.

4. Let it go. The person who answers the phone during a movie, wedding, or even a funeral, is always guaranteed to get the eye-rolls. Save the 3-hour conversation about last night’s bender for later.

5. Be polite. If your phone rings mid-conversation, it’s basic manners to ask if the person you’re speaking with minds if you answer it.


1. Blake Lively’s not so anonymous photos: No matter how innocent they may be, cheeky photos will always come back to haunt you. Especially when body features and tattoos can give you away!

2. Mel Gibson's violent voicemail recording: Who can forget Mad Mel's rants to ex wife Oksana. Little did he know they would end up in court!

3. Ashton Kutcher’s text flirting cheatathon. Ashton's cheeky texts might've had others in a spin, but they sure didn't impress wife Demi Moore!

4. Shane Warne’s Twitter sensation with Liz Hurley. Oh, dear. Sometimes you're the only one who thinks lovey-dovey tweets are sweet.

5. Lara Bingle’s naughty phone photos. See Blake Lively!

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