Smartphone Etiquette

 In the ever-growing world of smartphones and smartphone users, one thing has become fairly clear: We all love our own phone, but we hate yours. A self indulgent view of life amongst mobile & social technologies.

Mobile life has become the norm, but it doesn’t mean we all have equal ideas about it.

Smartphones have changed how many of us communicate, build communities, interact with our world and share our daily lives. These devices can also drive us crazy, but not because of our own perfectly acceptable consumer behavior, but of the irritating habits of those around us.

I have been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time in countries like Cambodia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and it is these places where mobile life takes on an entirely new form. Where consumer behavior is nothing like it is in Singapore, Australia or the United States.

Everyone’s view of the world is personal. So in a world connected through powerful ecosystems and technologies like smartphones, everyone’s personal context is becoming hyper unique. But it is this global hyper-connectivity that has created a sort of ‘code of conduct’ for how to use your smart phone and nothing riles us up quite like someone texting with the key sound on!

CNN posted an insightful summation of the new breed of untethered consumers and their mobile life. CNN’s list, in no particular order, are the 10 things that drive us craziest about smartphones and the people who love them.

No doubt you’ve come across at least half of these as annoyances from others:

  • The Behind-the-Wheel Chatterbox
  • The Movie Theater Lightning Bug
  • The Bathroom Stall Texter (or Talker)
  • The Smartphone Superiority Complex
  • The Social Situation Dropout
  • Waiting for the Next Big Thing
  • Bluetooth, or Crazy Person?
  • The ‘App for That’ Joker
  • The Dirty Cheater
  • The Disappearing Non-Vibrator

You may have thought certain places were off limits to use your mobile phone, but think again. According to a study by Jumio last year, Americans use smartphones just about everywhere, even in the most compromising or immoral situations: during sex (9%), in the shower (12%), and even while at church (19%). Yes, you read correct 9% of Americans admits to using their smartphones DURING sex. Are they checking sports scores? Taking a selfie? Alternatively calling their Mum?

Either way, its a consumer behaviour that many of us would struggle to understand.

In fact, nearly three in four Americans (72%) say they’re within five feet of their smartphones the majority of the time. So although some of us may think these places are inappropriate for mobile phone usage, a number of Americans still embrace their phones in the following places: In a movie theatre (35%), during a dinner date (33%), and at a child’s or school function (32%).

What does all this tell us? It’s a clear demonstration that mobile devices can change consumer behaviour, even create entirely new forms of culture. Carrying around a connected, intelligent device is now such an embedded part of our lives, we’ve started to bring our own unique perspectives to the surface. Many of the things we do today with our mobile devices, where at some point in the past frowned upon.

monalisa selfie SlideSo whether you love to Instagram everything you eat, #Selfie SnapChat everything you consider wearing, or Foursquare Checkin at every place you visit, one thing is for certain. The evolution of consumer behavior driven by untethered and mobile life is only just beginning.

For further information on Scott Bales or to enquire about making a booking for your next conference or event please contact the friendly ODE team


  • +61 2 9818 5199

United States

  • +1 877 950 5633
Smartphone Etiquette

Scott Bales is a global futurist, innovation & digital strategist, serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker at TEDx and a best-selling author.

+ View this Speaker's page

Go To Top