Smart Phone Etiquette

Nowadays, cell phones are not just communication tools – they are extensions of us. Offering the ability to customize and execute everything from the ringtone to the text messages you send your teenage daughter, your cell phone is a reflection of your lifestyle and personality.

And because your cell phone is out in the world with you, you must assume everything on it, or emanates from it, is fair game and accessible to everyone (including your boss). Here, then, is a quick guide to today’s cell phone standards and etiquette.


If office security jumps to Code Orange every time your phone rings, the volume is too loud. Take it down a few decibels.

Speed Dial

If a colleague borrows your phone, make sure he doesn’t see his name next to a picture of Darth Vader.


Glancing at your phone during a meeting just to check the time can be considered rude. Buy a Movado.


Our favorite button. Perfect for dealing with irate customers or your ex.


Do you know that Billboard magazine publishes a Top-40 chart for ringtones? The ringtone that spent the most weeks in the Top 10 in 2007 is the “Super Mario Brothers Theme.” The least popular? That high-decibel Chaka Khan riff that jarred your staff out of their seats in the boardroom yesterday. Tone it down.

Text Messaging

A leading cause of squinty-eyed, frozen fingers syndrome. Probably best to leave this function to your 21-year-old assistant.

Screen Saver

The “face” of your phone says a lot. A photo of your children or dog is fine – but that shot snapped at the club last night at 2 a.m.? Best save that in a password-protected file.

Vibrate Mode

Don’t leave home without it.


Who knows when Brad Pitt and Another Woman may come bouncing around the corner? Keep that phone out and at the ready, and this year’s bonus check may just come fromThe Enquirer … But, be kind, and resist snapping away when the head of accounts payable makes a fool of himself at the office holiday party.

Outgoing Voice Mail

We’re all happy you’re blessed with the gift of rhyme, but please – don’t share your talents here. Keep your outgoing message brief and simple.


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