5 Places you Should Never use your Smartphone

By Debra Eckerling 

We love our smartphones – so much in fact that we want to take them everywhere. You and your phone may be attached at the hip, or pocket, but there are some places where putting it away is the smart thing to do.

“The elevator is off limits – too small a space,” says Steve Rosenbaum, founder and CEO of Magnify.net. “Meals are a no-no. It’s just rude and upsets digestion.”

Here are 5 more places you should never use your smartphone:

1. Meetings. “We once made the mistake of pulling out our smartphones during a client meeting to show how their new responsive website looked on a smaller screen – without remembering what tabs we had opened previously,” shares Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism. “Thankfully, they weren’t paying attention right away, but it’s a mistake we now know never to make again.”

The open tabs were Reddit and Engadget.

“Being a digital marketing company, we could have argued the point that it was research,” Zaiger adds. “But a casual glance at the screen makes it look like we were just spending our downtime staring at memes.”

2. A Job Interview. “A surprising number of people entering the workforce do not seem to grasp how disrespectful it is to have their smartphone out while meeting with a potential employer,” says Kristin Delaney, Managing Partner of spendLO, LLC.

The only exception? “If you are asked specifically to refer to something only found on your phone,” adds Social Media Strategist Leslie Richin.

3. Movie Theaters. “You may think that you’re being subtle by hiding your phone in your lap, but everybody sitting behind you can see it, and in a dark room, it’s very distracting,” says Dale Galiniak, CEO of Txt2Teach.me.

“It’s a given that you won’t be talking on [your phone] during the movie, but this means no use of social media either,” says Social Media Coach Kerianne Mellott, CEO/founder of Marketing Makes Me Smile. “As much as it’s tempting to take time to Instagram your brilliant arrangement of popcorn bucket, movie ticket stub and Coke, save it for later. Besides, the movie already started and you’re missing the good part…”

4. Special Occasions. “As hard as it is, try to avoid using your smartphone when with family or friends,” says Gyutae Park, Head of Social Media at Money Crashers Personal Finance. “People don’t realize it, but it’s extremely rude and can make the other person feel inadequate.”

“One thing I’ve noticed is that my generation still uses their iPhone during a wedding,” says 25-year-old Liz Theresa of  LizTheresa.com. “Whether it is on silent or not, this kind of behavior is just appalling.”

“You should never use your smartphone at a funeral,” says consultant Alicia Marie Phillips. “More than distracting for the people around you, I would consider it disrespectful.”

5. The Bathroom. “Do your business then deal with your cell outside the restroom!” says Sara Hathaway, an account executive at BrownBoots Interactive, Inc.

Anthonette “Colonel” Klinkerman, CEO (Chief Etiquette Officer) of Courtesy Boot Camp, agrees.

“It is the last bastion of human privacy,” she says, “yet plenty of people decide it is okay to use their phones in there.”