How to kick a bad smartphone habit

Ten top tips to make you a more bearable smartphone user...
How to kick a bad smartphone habit

Learn to avoid the top ten worst mobile manners

Do you still use TXT SPK, play Candy Crush at full volume or keep the key tones on your phone turned on so all you hear is click click click? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then it sounds like you’ve got some bad mobile manners. But don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Two thirds of Brits own up to having a bad smartphone habit, whether that’s putting a call on loudspeaker in public (37%) or texting while walking and not looking up (41%). And we know it’s not just the smartphone generation that are guilty of bad phone habits. Our good old-fashioned guide to phone etiquette shows people have been prone to bad telephone habits for more than a century.

But despite 93% of us saying we find bad mobile habits annoying, only 1 in 5 will say something if it happens around them. So, we’ve taken matters into our own hands. Using data from smartphone users around the UK, we compiled a list of the top 10 worst-offending habits and how to avoid them in The Mobile Manifesto – so you can keep your mobile manners in check.

The mobile manifesto

Brits and their terrible phone habits are giving the mobile a bad name. To mend your mobile manners, take a look at the top 10 smartphone habits that drive us mad and how to stop doing them in one simple step.

1. Talking loudly down the phone

Public outrage rating: 46%

Bare-faced raving down the phone within a 10-metre radius of the nearest person is the habit that ticks off Brits more than any other bad mobile behaviour.

The solution: Loud and proud? No problem. Just walk twenty paces from the closest person and let it rip. This works in most places except the library.

2. Texting while walking

Public outrage rating: 41%

We’ve all been stuck behind someone shuffling along the path while engrossed in a group chat, morning selfie or unmissable Snapchat moment.

The solution: If you think you can walk and text without looking ridiculous, trust us: you’re mistaken. Ditch the slow-motion texter’s shuffle for a playlist or podcast. You can answer that text when you’re not walking down stairs, across roads or into lamp posts.

3. Staring at your phone mid-conversation

Public outrage rating: 40%

Nothing says, ‘you’re boring me now’ like staring at your phone while someone is talking. It’s the kiss of death for any conversation – it might even be worse than yawning.

The solution: As tempting as it may be to send that text, now is not the time. You’re having a conversation, so try to maintain eye contact at all times. Texting with your fingers while staring blankly into someone’s face and pretending to listen doesn’t count. You know who you are.

4. Oversharing

Public outrage rating: 38%

When someone broadcasts the scandals of their personal life over the phone while bystanders are helpless to escape the gruesome details.

The solution: Even if you have the gossip of the century, try to keep it PG in public. You never know who might be listening. It’s probably just a stranger, but it could be a neighbour… or maybe even your boss.

5. Deploying the loudspeaker

Public outrage rating: 37%

If there’s one thing worse than overhearing the mundane details of someone else’s phone call, it’s hearing both sides of that conversation through a very small speaker.

The solution: Headphones. It’s that simple.

6. Chatting to others while on the phone

Public outrage rating: 37%

It might seem like multitasking to you, but if you’re holding two conversations at once, chances are you’re not concentrating on either.

The solution: Unless you’re on a video chat with your extended family, there’s really no excuse for talking over someone on a call. Stick to one chat at a time.

7. Obsessive selfie-taking

Public outrage rating: 34%

Pouty face? Check. Downwards facing camera? Check. Album full of photos of just you in the exact same pose? Check.

The solution: There’s nothing wrong with taking selfies. Heck, create a whole selfie album if you like. Just throw in a landscape every now and then.

8. Hanging up mid-conversation

Public outrage rating: 32%

This might seem like a bold way to cut off a rambling caller, but if you’re on the other end, it’s just plain rude.

The solution: There’s got to be a better way to wrap things up than hitting the red button. “Goodbye” works. Sometimes the old ones really are the best.

9. Never answering the phone

Public outrage rating: 31%

We all know that person. The one that never picks up their phone even though we know it’s probably in their hand.

The solution: It turns out twice as many people expect an immediate response to a message than they do to a missed call. So, try dropping them a text. See what happens.

10. Ignoring a call-back

Public outrage rating: 27%

Here’s what happens: They call you, you call them back and…it goes straight to voicemail. Makes you wonder why you – or they – even bothered.

The solution: If it’s that important, they’ll call back. We hope.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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