As the holiday gatherings are approaching, it's important to be mindful of our phone usage and focus on being present and engaged with the people around us. After all, there's a time and a place for using your phone, and a party full of loved ones might not be the best time to scroll through your social media feed.
We've grown accustomed to having our phones at arm's reach and might not always notice we handle them more often than needed simply by force of habit. This constant accessibility to our devices can unequivocally lead to frequent distractions and disrupt the atmosphere.
Let’s do better this holiday season and bring our mobile interactions down a notch with the following phone etiquette tips:
- Asking for permission before posting
- No Phones at the table
- Asking for the Wi-Fi password
- Avoid photoshoots
- Phone on silent mode
Asking for Permission Before Posting
While it may be tempting to randomly snap and share away your holiday moments on social media, try to be mindful of others before posting online. Ask them if they are comfortable about having their picture up online first — It's not only polite but also respectful.
Showing that you value their decision demonstrates true courtesy, which they will surely appreciate. It's all about consent!
No Phones at the Table
Proud of those holiday spreads? Quickly snap that pic before the dinner starts. Tempted to look at notifications? Resist the urge to lure, you’ll catch on them later.
You can also make the most of your gatherings by establishing a no-phone zone at the table! When everyone has gathered around the feast, kindly remind them to put their phones away or in silent mode so no one gets distracted.
Asking for the Wi-Fi Password
To ask or not to ask for the Wi-Fi password dilemma. If you're in charge of the music or were asked to FaceTime an aunt that couldn't make it, then it's perfectly acceptable to ask for the Wi-Fi password. Pull your host aside and ask discreetly to avoid causing a Wi-Fi frenzy.
On the other hand, there's a good chance you'll be asked for the Wi-Fi password more than once if you're hosting. Consider setting up a guest Wi-Fi network and leave it in plain sight to avoid memorizing long string of numbers.
Avoid Photoshoot Fatigue
Being the designated holiday party photographer is a crucial role, but it's also important to strike a balance between constantly taking pictures and being present. Because our phones make it easy to take photos, it's also easy to get caught up in the search for the perfect picture.
Instead of turning the event into a photoshoot, set up your camera phone beforehand with these simple tips, take a few photos (don’t overthink it), then put your phones away and enjoy the party. You can always edit and share the photos later. Focus on creating meaningful connections, rather than worrying about getting the perfect photo.
Phone on Silent Mode
Holiday gatherings can be an oasis of connection and camaraderie, and incessant phone ringing or buzzing can often spoil the festive ambience. Studies suggest these alerts encourage greater device engagement and distractions — so to ensure respectful etiquette to your fellow revelers, consider silencing that pesky device and let conversation reign in its stead!
If you're expecting an important call or message, you can discretely set your mobile on vibrate beforehand and sparingly mention it in the conversation. This way, the conversation will pick up where you left off more smoothly.
Practicing good phone etiquette during the holidays (or any social gathering) is essential for creating meaningful connections and there’s nothing quite like the gift of connecting in the present moment with our loved ones. Let's put our phones away and focus on the people and experiences around us.
Happy Holidays to all!