12 Technology and Phone Etiquette Rules You Should Be Following Every Day

Do you know when you should put your cell phone away and stop texting? Are you schooled in the art of netiquette?

 Don't send thank-you notes

01-thanks-technology and phone etiquette_359823902-Constantin-StanciuConstantin Stanciu/Shutterstock
If all you have to say in your e-mail reply is "Thanks!" refrain from sending it. You're just clogging an inbox. If they feel like they have to follow up with you for a response, they will let you know. Make sure you don't do any of these other annoying email habits.

 Use direct message for conversations

02-DM-technology and phone etiquette_202781149-BloomiconBloomicon/Shutterstock
Long "@" conversations on Twitter bore other followers and take up a lot of room on their feed. Take them to Twitter's Direct Message (DM) or e-mail. It will be a lot easier to follow the conversation and you won't end up losing any annoyed followers. Something that you will enjoy reading on Twitter, though, are these hilarious parenting tweets.

 Hang up the phone

03-hang-up-technology and phone etiquette_648681310-nd3000nd3000/Shutterstock
Don't use cell phones in a waiting room, checkout line, restaurant, train, or (heaven forbid!) bathroom stall. When someone is trying to help you, it's a huge pain and extremely disrespectful to be talking with someone else on the phone. Put your phone down and give your full attention to the task at hand. Also follow these other cell phone etiquette tips.

 Don't constantly check your phone

04-check-phone-technology and phone etiquette_538398619-SFROLOVSFROLOV/Shutterstock
When talking to someone in person, don't glance down at your cell phone to see who's trying to reach you. Your notifications can wait. Try to be present. That kind of body language will lead a person to not trust you. Try using this body language to build trust.

Content continues below ad

 Ask if they are available

05-available-technology and phone etiquette_548826301-Floral-DecoFloral Deco/Shutterstock
When instant-messaging, always ask if now is a good time to chat. Catching someone at a bad time can lead to an unproductive and boring conversation. Make sure you have their full attention before continuing to chat.

It's okay to use free Wi-Fi, but be warned

06-wifi-technology and phone etiquette_565493335-tolotolatolotola/Shutterstock
It's OK to piggyback on a neighbor's free Wi-Fi as long as you don't hog it and do realize it's not secure. When you use networks that are not secure scammers can attack your computer. Here is how they do it.

 R.S.V.P quickly

07-rsvp-technology and phone etiquette_553478950-2p2play2p2play/Shutterstock
RSVP to legitimate online invitations promptly. The reason they sent an invite electronically is because they want a faster response. As soon as you get the invite, respond to it. That way you won't forget to later.

 Sensor your emails

08-sensor-email-technology and phone etiquette_401494363-Rawpixel.comRawpixel.com/Shutterstock
Things not to do when e-mailing: shout in all caps, use colored fonts or clip-art emoticons, attach large files, forward an e-mail unless appropriate. Also avoid this bad email habit that will make your coworkers hate you.

Content continues below ad

 Follow certain rules for saying "thank you"

09-rules-technology and phone etiquette_594730970-Rawpixel.comRawpixel.com/Shutterstock
You can e-mail thank-yous for party invitations and birthday gifts given in person as long as you send each of them separately. (No cc's.) For mailed gifts, letters of recommendation, and wedding presents, a written note is still preferable. Here is how to write a heart felt thank-you note.

 It's OK to brag on social media

10-brag-social-technology and phone etiquette_520849861-shanghaineseshanghainese/Shutterstock
It's fine to brag on your Facebook page as long as you don't show off about these things, and make sure you high-five your friends just as often. Comment on their posts celebrating whatever it is they are bragging about. That way people will know you aren't just on social media to boast about your accomplishments. And, whatever you do, avoid sharing these things on social media.

 Only send work texts during certain hours

11-work-texts-technology and phone etiquette_541239523-WOVE-LOVEWOVE LOVE/Shutterstock
Work e-mails can be sent anytime, but business texts should be restricted to one hour before the start of the workday to two hours after it ends, according to The Modern Gentleman.

 Personalize your answering machine

12-answering machine-technology and phone etiquette_359823902-Constantin-StanciuConstantin Stanciu/Shutterstock
If you still own an answering machine, make sure the outgoing message isn't annoying or twee. Make it short and sweet, giving the person calling all of the information they need.

Content continues below ad

View as Slideshow

Become more interesting every week!

The Reader's Digest "Read Up" Newsletter

We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.