Mobile Phone Etiquette; 9 Mobile Phone Usage Tips For Your Own Good

I sometimes wonder how I ever managed to live without my mobile phone. It has become such an essential device that I would feel lost without it. Interestingly, my loved ones have sometimes accused me of lacking good mobile phone etiquette. Has anyone accused you of improper mobile phone etiquette?

You see, if you don’t use your mobile phone well, you can annoy, irritate, disturb other people and even make their lives miserable. Mobile phone etiquette includes using your phone in the following ways:


Thoughtfully: Think about those around you as you use your mobile phone. 


Considerately: Be considerate of the feelings of others as you use your mobile phone.


Appropriately: This includes using the phone at the appropriate time – you don’t have to use the phone throughout the day.


Respectfully: In some scenarios, it may be disrespectful to use your mobile phone.

If we all make a deliberate effort to use our mobile phones well, we can become better citizens and we can make the world a better place.

Mobile Phone Etiquette; 9 Mobile Phone Tips For Your Own Good

So, let me give you 9 mobile phone etiquette tips for your own good. If you apply these tips, you can become a more respectable person and make the world a better place. 


1. Choose Your Mobile Phone's Ringtone Carefully


One great thing about having a mobile phone is that you can personalize it. For instance, you can choose a ringtone that makes you happy. The ringtone is the sound your mobile phone makes when there’s an incoming call.


It’s good to choose your ringtone carefully because it’s not for your ears only – the rest of the people can hear it.


So, be considerate of others when choosing your mobile phone’s ringtone. Here are some ringtones to avoid:


Offensive ringtones: these have vulgar or abusive words. Such ringtones may sound ‘cool’ to you but they make other people feel disrespected and offended.


Irritating/annoying ringtones: There’s no need to irritate or annoy the people around you with your phone’s ringtone. Personally, I find ringtones with spoken words irritating. I’ve heard tones such as: "Pick up the phone. I said pick up the phone!" and "Hey! Your phone is ringing".

Scary ringtones: Some ringtones can scare the people around you. So, be considerate of others when picking a ringtone. Some of the scary ringtones include The Hearse Song, The Evil Clown Laugh, and Scary Music Box.


2. Choose a Moderate Ring Volume


The other day my daughter complained that my phone’s ring volume is too high. It startled her while she was asleep! Have you ever had such an experience?


Be careful when choosing your mobile phone’s ring volume. If you put it too low, you might not hear when the phone rings. If the ring volume is too high, it could irritate, annoy, or even startle people.


A moderate ring volume is ideal for any phone. You get to hear the phone ring without being inconsiderate of other people’s feelings.


3. Keep Your Mobile Phone’s Keyboard Silent

Some people feel annoyed/irritated when the keyboard of your phone makes loud noises as you type a message. I once sat beside a person who typed messages on her phone for over an hour on a train journey. I almost went crazy from the noise her phone’s keyboard made as she typed.

You can keep your phone’s keyboard silent by going to ‘settings’ and adjusting the sounds and vibration. You can then type away your messages without offending anyone.

4. Answer the Mobile Phone Promptly in Public

If you’re around people and your phone rings, it’s best to answer it promptly. Actually, experts recommend that you should answer the phone after the third ring. 


The reason is that a ringing phone spreads tension to all the people around you. As the phone continues ringing, the tension grows, because they can't answer it - it's not their phone. 

When you don’t pick up the phone promptly those around you may feel annoyed and irritated. They may also feel disrespected because the ringing phone interferes with their peace. 

In addition, the continuous ringing of a mobile phone pollutes the environment further.

If you don’t want to speak to the person, send them a message immediately telling them you’ll call them later. 

If you disconnect the call without sending the person a message, they’ll still call again and again. The continuous calling disturbs those around you even more.

5. Put the Mobile Phone on Vibrate/Silent Mode in Some Public Places

The ringing of mobile phones can disturb, annoy, or irritate people in some places more than in others. It’s therefore important to put your phone in silent/vibrate mode in some places to show respect and thoughtfulness. 

Some of the places where you should put your phone on silent/vibrate mode include the following:

  • Places of worship
  • Hospitals
  • Movie theaters
  • Libraries
  • Meetings

6. Avoid “Cell Yelling” (Shouting)

My loved ones often accuse me of "cell yelling". This is the feeling that you have to raise your voice drastically while speaking on the mobile phone so that the person you’re speaking to can hear you. 


You see, since the mobile phone is small, some people don’t think the technology can work well. So, they yell unconsciously as they speak on the phone.

Interestingly, it’s not necessary to yell on the phone. The phone's earpiece picks up your voice clearly even when you use your normal tone. 

Here’s why you should avoid yelling on your mobile phone when you’re around people:

  • It annoys them because you disturb their peace.
  • It’s irritating as they get to hear your conversation.
  • The yelling pollutes the environment further.

It’s therefore best to keep your voice at a normal speaking level when using your mobile phone in public.

7. Avoid Discussing Personal Issues

I visited the salon recently. The people in the salon and I had to listen to one of the clients arguing/quarreling with her partner about personal issues on the phone for about 30 minutes. Those were the longest 30 minutes of my life and I bet for the other people in the salon.

Discussing personal issues on your mobile phone in a public place is unacceptable. When you do so, you make those around you uncomfortable, embarrassed, and also steal their peace.

Suppose you want to discuss personal issues on your mobile phone. In that case, you should excuse yourself and step outside. Look for a secluded place and speak to the person. 


8. Avoid Sodcasting 


Sodcasting is basically playing music or listening to a clip through your mobile phone’s speakers when you’re around people. When you do so, you irritate and annoy those around you. The noise from your speakers also pollutes the environment.

For instance, can you imagine if all the people on a train, bus, etc. decided to put their mobile phone speakers on? The noise would be deafening and unbearable!

So, avoid sodcasting. If you really want to listen to something on your phone in public, wear earphones/headphones. That way, you’ll enjoy yourself while giving those around you the peace and respect they deserve.

9. Avoid Using Your Mobile Phone Unnecessarily Around People


Some of us are addicted to our mobile phones and we tend to use them unnecessarily even when we’re around people. Try to be in control of your mobile phone – don’t allow the phone to control you.


Suppose you’re around people say at a party, dinner, meet-up, etc. In that case, avoid using your phone unnecessarily because it’s rude and disrespectful. Try to give the people you’re with all the respect and attention they deserve.


Here are things you can do to avoid using the mobile phone unnecessarily around people:


  • Avoid the temptation to constantly scroll your phone.
  • Avoid texting during a face-to-face conversation.
  • Avoid picking up calls in the middle of a conversation.
  • Avoid making calls in the middle of a conversation.




Your mobile phone is an awesome asset as it helps you to communicate with others, enables you to access global news, keeps you entertained, etc. 


However, if you don’t follow mobile phone etiquette, you and your mobile phone can disturb, annoy, irritate, and offend others.


I hope the above mobile phone etiquette tips will help you use your phone thoughtfully, considerately, appropriately, carefully, and respectfully to make this world a better place. Cheers!


What is your take on mobile phone etiquette? Kindly share your views with others in the comments section below.



I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.

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