Smartphone Etiquette: Rules of Travel


Smartphone Etiquette: Rules of Travel

What do the letter “K”, rude wedding guests, and loud dinner companions all have in common?

We’ve been talking so much about the different ways consumers use smartphones this quarter, I’ve run into many pet peeves on the same subject. In a time when folks post photos of every meal, mention every workout, and live tweet a daily play-by-play, what crosses the line into bad smartphone behavior?

A quick poll of my friends listed some fairly common peeves, but the overwhelming majority included cell usage while driving – talking and texting both included. Other issues listed were the use of “K” as a text response, phone usage in the midst of face-to-face interactions, and cell phones going off during religious services and/or weddings.

Travelers seem to have their own set of pet peeves in this area. Airplanes, already a hotbed for annoyance due to the close proximity to fellow passengers, hit the top of the list with frustrations such as people who don’t heed the warning to turn devices off and those whose chosen entertainment is loud enough for seatmates to hear.

Dining is next. I once knew a person who was absolutely unable to speak into a cell phone without yelling. He must get around a lot, because people the world over are wondering why he is sitting a the next table hollering into his phone and disrupting their meal. The annoyance factor increases in direct proportion to the cost per plate.

Some hotels have offered discounts to guests who will check their phone at the door in an effort to bring guests more fully into focus on their surroundings. Perhaps this has a secondary function of eliminating another pet peeve – talking on the phone during checkout. This annoyance is heightened only if the guest is also using a small headset, which brings an uncalled for amount of awkwardness to any social situation.

Of course, around here, we know how much the travel experience is enhanced with the use of mobile, whether it’s searching for local experiences and reviews, getting directions, or taking photos to share with those at home.

Our philosophy at Monscierge is that technology should be used to enhance connections, not to replace them. As with everything else in life, a balance must be struck. If you’re on vacation, consider hiding your email button on a different page to reduce the temptation to check in at work. If you’re going to dinner, use your phone to find the right place, then set it aside during the meal (maybe take it out just once to post a yummy Facebook photo for bragging rights!)

What are your suggestions for mobile use during travel? And of course, I want to hear your favorite pet peeves, as well.