Mobile phone etiquette: Why you should text than call? Debrett’s explains

Debrett’s, known for its guides on etiquette and social behaviour, has recently released updated guidelines on mobile etiquette.

Debrett’s has issued new mobile phone usage etiquette. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to the etiquette bible, answering the phone is now a matter of personal choice and often deemed inappropriate. Communication predominantly takes place through messaging, social media, emails, and voice notes, reflecting a general preference for less direct methods.

Debrett’s is over 250 years old authority on the United Kingdom royalty and matters of etiquette. Here’s its “Ten Commandments” on mobile phone usage.

  1. Prefer texting before calling:

• It’s becoming common to text before calling, asking if it’s a good time. This minimises intrusion and lets people manage their time.

2. Social calls to mobiles:

• Unannounced social calls to mobiles might go unanswered. Texts are seen as a politer and more informative option.

3. Avoid repeated redialing:

• Repeatedly redialing an unanswered call can be intrusive. Sending a text is a more considerate approach, unless it’s an emergency.

4. Text after unanswered call:

• If a call goes unanswered, send a brief, explanatory text. Pithy texts are preferred over long, rambling voice messages.

5. Consider the impact of the calls:

• Some people may find calls alarming due to their decreasing frequency. Callers should offer reassurance before their greeting or consider texting ahead.

6. Respect others’ phone preferences:

• Understand that not everyone is comfortable receiving calls. If someone indicates it’s a bad time to talk, respect their preference and withdraw.

7. Tolerance for older people’s phone habits:

• Older individuals may prefer unannounced calls and voicemails. Be patient and consider their comfort with technology.

8. Avoid multitasking during calls:

• Concentrate on calls in a distraction-free environment. Multitasking during a call can be alienating for the recipient.

9. Use headphones video calls:

• In public spaces, use headphones for video calls to avoid forcing others to listen. Respect the privacy of your conversation.

10. Voice for nuanced communication:

• Use your voice for nuanced communication. Expressing subtle emotions or handling delicate situations is better done through a phone call.

Debrett’s defines etiquette “is about feeling at ease, and putting others at ease, in a variety of social situations.” Thus, following the new rules may make mobile phone communication experience better.

Leave a Comment