Not a decade has passed since the original iPhone was introduced, and yet the smartphone is firmly embedded in our culture. While the novelty has worn off (despite the best efforts of phone companies and their *unveiling* events), the etiquette is still in flux. While the function and utility of these devices is undeniable, phones do not, in fact, have a place in every scenario of life.
While we’re not in any immediate danger of a “Rise of the Machines”-type of age dawning, it is important to place boundaries around technology to ensure that the phone isn’t controlling us. In that frame of mind, consider these 9 places where phones definitely do not belong:
1. When you’re face to face with another human being
At home with your child? Coffee with a friend? Put the phone down. It’s the people sharing their time and space with you who deserve your attention, and not the disembodied status updates on Facebook and Twitter.
2. In the bathroom
Whatever, erm, activity you may be completing in this room, the chance of destruction increases (ask any lady who’s forgotten that her phone is her back pocket). Additionally, humidity from a shower or bath is harmful to electronics; and, hopefully, we don’t need to explain the germ factor in this environment...suffice to say that smartphones definitely don’t belong in the bathroom.
3. At the dog park
Head down and attention diverted can mean trouble for you and your pooch, especially if there are unfamiliar people and dogs present. Keep your eye on your dog, and play fetch or tug of war instead of Fruit Ninja.
4. At a wedding
It’s understandable that you want to memorialize this moment in the same way that you memorialize the fantastic dinner you had last night. Chances are that there’s a photographer around who’s being paid to take fantastic photos (and, if you’re leaning out into the aisle to take a grainy, off-center photo, you might be ruining their perfect shot). Leave the ceremony photos to the professionals.
5. In a fitness class
Participating in a fitness class is working out with a group of people to help push you further, learn better form, and basically give you a better workout. Stopping to Snapchat in the middle of core work is disruptive to others around you, as well as a little rude if others are in the frame (who wants their sweaty, mid-breath face sent out to strangers?).
6. In a movie theater
After paying for a ticket, popcorn, drink, M&Ms (or other candy), why divert your attention (and those around you) by flashing that bright phone screen? Put in airplane mode or turn it off.
7. During a live performance
Play, concert, anywhere that contains people performing live. If you must, take a few pictures, then put it away. Or risk becoming one of those people whom performers call out for being rude.
8. In bed
Not only will you sleep better, but it frees up your mind to focus on sleep and increases melatonin production (AKA the stuff that helps you sleep).
9. In the car
Does this need an explanation?
Show that smartphone who’s boss. And take some enjoyment in your real-life environment, not endless scrolling on Tumblr.