Today, everyone wants to look important with their smartphone and show how important they are. Frankly, it is making me a bit sick. Smartphones are the cool technology of today, but people are quickly becoming increasingly annoyed by the people using them. The trouble as I see it is people are being controlled more and more by their devices.
Some examples I see of people using their smartphone that makes me puke:
- Make sure to leave their phone ringer on..So we can all hear that familiar “Android” word
- Leave meetings to show how important a particular call is
- Pulling out smartphone in middle of a discussion to text someone
- Taking pictures of different items around them, to show people how they can use a camera
- People bending down to look at their stomach to hopefully not bring attention to the fact that they are texting
What these items might be communicating to others
- That person really gets a lot of personal calls
- The phone is more important then our face-to-face meeting
- That person really likes to bring attention to himself
- Who is that person texting? Is it really that important
If you are leading a meeting and feel distracted, try the following.
- Ask people to take out their cell phone and put it on the desk in front of them. It is amazing how people feel uncomfortable knowing that people can now see them reaching for their phone.
- Tell people if the phone goes off in the middle of the meeting, we will stop the meeting and play “name that ringtone” or “name that tune, if it is a song” People quickly silence their phones for rear of embarrassment.
Cell Phone Etiquette
Use your cell phone in the following ways:
- If you are expecting an important call and you are with a client or an internal meeting, let everyone know before the meeting begins so they know that the call is really important. If you don’t want to make this announcement, then be courteous and look at your phone after the meeting.
- Make sure your smartphone is always on vibrate when you are at work.
- First thing, in the morning, tell the people you text the most during the day that you have a day full of meetings and you will not be checking your text messages. (This could save you a lot of embarrassment outside of work.
- Find ways to be different. Leave your phone in your pocket and jacket and learn more from others. Pretty soon, people will be too busy to share. We are headed there.
- Carry an ipad or tablet and use it to take notes instead of your smartphone. (More accepting and looks better professionally)
- If you need to always be looking at your phone go to your local airport or home and chances are you will have all kinds of time to look at your phone.
Whether we like it or not, smart phones are becoming another item that is consuming our time. Find a balance and start by using “real communication” instead of being controlled by your device. It really starts here!