I’m a phone etiquette expert – here’s why you should never use video chat and always text before calling

PHONE etiquette can often be quite a challenge.

Is there a polite way of saying you are busy when someone calls?


Phone etiquette can often be quite a challenge but we have some rules to help you[/caption]

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post has devised a new list of rules to guide us through the potential pitfalls of texts and calls

Should you put your phone away on a first date?

The answer to both of these questions is . . . yes.

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, co-president at the Emily Post Institute in the US, has devised a new list of rules to guide us through the potential pitfalls of texts and calls.

From sending a text before you call, to using headphones for video chats, here is our guide on how to use your phone politely.

1. Always text before calling. It’s a good idea to check the person you want to talk to is actually free before you give them a bell.

They may be busy, in a meeting or in the cinema. Their phone ringing could be very disruptive.

A simple text saying, “Hey, are you free for a chat?” does no harm.

2. No need to pick up. It may feel like you have to answer the phone when it rings.

But if it’s not the best time to talk, you are allowed to reject the call.

You can even get your phone to send an automated text message saying, “I’ll call you back in a while.”

3. Don’t double ring. If someone doesn’t answer their phone when you call, do not ring again straight away.

Unless, of course, it is an emergency.

If it is not urgent, just send a text asking if they can call you back when they get a chance.

4. If it is a difficult conversation, phone. There are times when a phone conversation is always better than back-and-forth texting.

If you know what you have to say is going to lead to an awkward conversation or argument, it is best to have it out on the phone.

The tone of text messages can easily be misconstrued.


If you need to have a difficult conversation it’s always best to call[/caption]

5. Avoid using speakerphone in public. While it is very convenient when you are on the move, do not use a speakerphone in public.

No one else wants to hear your conversation.

If you need a hands-free call or you are having a FaceTime with your pals, headphones are always the best option.

6. Put your phone away. If you are on a date, or out in a restaurant with family or friends, you should be listening to what they have to say, and be present in the room.

To ensure you are fully engaged, do not leave your phone on the table.

Even if you do not actually go on it, the phone lighting up due to notifications can be very distracting.

7. No video calling on the move. If you are on FaceTime or Zoom, give the other person your full attention.

It can be disorienting for them if you are constantly moving around, cooking or doing chores.

Just prop the phone up so your face fills the screen and stay put for the conversation. Or, switch to a voice call, if necessary.


You shouldn’t do a video call while on the move[/caption]

8. Don’t leave a voicemail. Voicemails are so old school, and there are many people who just don’t listen to them.

Unless the other person would be genuinely happy to hear your voice, do not leave a voicemail or a long podcast of a voice note.

Just send a text asking them to call you back.

9. Put phone on vibrate. No one else needs to hear your annoying ringtone or your phone pinging every time you get a WhatsApp — especially if you are having a text conversation.

If you are in public, turn your phone to vibrate or silent — unless you have got headphones in.

10. Keep talking on the phone. While texting is more common than calling nowadays, phone conversation is still a great way of communicating.

Talking to a person in real time can strengthen relationships, improve mental health and decrease loneliness — but just remember to text ahead.

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