Cell Phone Manners Matter

Five etiquette tips to help children prioritize their relationships and learn to confidently and kindly communicate.

Modern technology and digital communication have increased productivity, made our lives more convenient and save us a considerable amount of time. However, the downsides can affect our communication skills and negatively impact our relationships, when used excessively or inappropriately.

“Digital communication has become a significant part of my course offerings in the last several years,” says Certified Etiquette Expert and Founder of Detroit Academy of Etiquette, Danielle Kovachevich. “Teaching cell phone manners, to both children and adults, is an important life skill that requires us to think about how our actions impact others,” says Danielle.

When it comes to teaching children cell phone manners, utilize these five etiquette tips to help children prioritize their relationships and learn to confidently and kindly communicate.

1. Cell phone salutations are a must. Digital communication should be treated like a hand-written letter. Every cell phone conversation, and more importantly, every relationship, deserves a “Hello, how are you?” and a proper “Good-bye.” So often I hear children answer the phone with just starting a conversation instead of greeting the other individual. Chances are this will not affect their friendship; however, these behaviors can form bad habits, both digitally and face-to-face. Start practicing these digital manners as soon as your child gets their first cell phone. It’s never too early to also have them practice other skills like ordering a pizza or calling grandma to check in on her. Learning the rules of etiquette gives children an edge and helps them to feel confident in any situation.

2. Texting does not replace talking. Ask your child to stop and pause before they text and consider if this topic requires a conversation or a text. Encourage them to save more personal topics for a face-to-face conversation. Also, when strong emotions are involved it can be tough to convey these true emotions over a text. Our relationships deserve this consideration. Taking the extra step to call someone or meet with them to discuss certain topics shows we care.

3. Do not cell yell. Have you ever sat next to someone on a plane or in a restaurant and they were speaking so loudly that you could recite their medical stats, family gossip, and political position? I think we’ve all been there. A valuable lesson to teach our children is to consider others when we communicate digitally. Speaking loudly impedes on other’s personal space and quite frankly is downright annoying to be around. If you are in a public place, try to find a private area to talk.  If that’s difficult to do, try to at least maintain a ten-foot space between you and the other patrons.

4. Be considerate of others. Let’s be honest, cell phone usage can put a strain on our mood and our relationships. Setting boundaries early is key to avoiding this stressful strain. These boundaries should be established by each individual household. A lot of times, families have rules around cell phone usage at the dinner table or while visiting with family and friends. Other important areas to consider would be places of worship, the library, a movie theater, planes, etc. Be sure to recognize if you are holding up service because you are on your phone. Am I making a cashier or clerk wait for me while I finish a call? The number one question to always ask ourselves is, “Is my cell phone usage bothersome to others?” If the answer is yes, it’s time to make some courteous changes.

5. Follow the golden rule of parenting. Parents should always behave the way they want their children to behave. Model the cell phone manners that are important to you and your children will likely imitate your actions. When consideration for others is the intention, you can’t ever go wrong.

For more information on Detroit Academy of Etiquette and course offerings, please visit: detroitacademyofetiquette.com

You can also find Detroit Academy of Etiquette on Instagram at @detroitacademyofetiquette

Upcoming course offerings:
Modern Manners for Children (Ages 8-13) Thursday, September 23, 2021 at Oakland Hills Country Club
Modern Manners for Teens (Ages 14-18) Thursday, October 21, 2021 at The Daxton Hotel
Best in Business Class for Professionals (Over 18 years of age) Thursday, November 18, 2021 at The Daxton Hotel

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