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Hi, do you own a smartphone?

If so, here are a some friendly guidelines you might consider to improve your smartphone manners while in public.

    1. When you're in public and having a phone conversation, it's okay to do so with the speaker turned OFF.

    The phone works in regular phone mode, too. The speaker isn't required. Plus, I'm pretty sure the person on the other end of the line will appreciate not being heard by 20 people as much as the 20 people don't want to hear the conversation.

    2. If I'm having a conversation with you, don't pull your phone out in the middle of it and start tapping.

    My favorite reaction to such disrespect? I stop talking mid-sentence, look directly at the person, and say, "I'll wait." Works every time.

    3. Dude, don't go to a public restroom and do stuff on your phone in there.

    I can't speak about what happens in the lady's room, but over the years I've seen an uncomfortable number of men have phone conversations and text while standing at the urinal.

    Yes, some of them don't wash their hands afterward.

    4. Let's talk about texting and driving.

    If I'm in a car with you, and you're driving, don't text. If you do, I'm going to ask you to pull over. This is no joke.

    5. Consider putting your phone on vibrate/silent mode when in public.

    Or at least turn down the ringer volume. Once upon a time, the only time we ever heard telephone rings was in a building, like home or work. Now, we hear them everywhere. No one likes it. Do everyone a favor and turn it off.

    6. If we're having a conversation, don't take an incoming call right in front of me.

    If the call is important, that's fine. Excuse yourself, and find another location to take the call.

    7. Events/activities at which no one should ever, EVER see a smartphone in your hands.

    - Funerals

    - Job interviews

    - During sex

    - Surgery (doctor or patient)

    - Again, driving behind the wheel

    - Church gatherings

    - When you're having a baby

    8. Don't yell in public when you're talking on the phone.

    Please tell me you don't need an explanation for this one.

    9. Don't make service people wait for you while you're doing something on your phone.

    This includes store clerks, grocery store checkout folks, restaurant servers, and hotel staff.

    10. Don't take an obscene number of selfies.

    One or two is fine, especially if you're in a beautiful location and/or you're with people you care about and you want to capture the moment. If you're sitting in a coffee shop and taking every possible selfie angle of yourself, then no one wants to be your friend.

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