Some ways we can start to achieve the goals of mobile device etiquette:
When privately using any device in a public place, the default setting on said device should always be mute (unless you’re using good headphones). Not just phones. Know where the mute button is on every device and use it.
If using a device in a dark room, sit at the back and/or adjust the brightness of the screen so that it is not visible (and thus distracting) to those sitting behind you. If you can’t avoid being distracting, think about not using your device at all, or leaving the room to use it.
Position your device screen to minimize other people’s sight of it. Not only can your screen activity engage other people’s attention and distract them against their will from the action in the room (passive device pollution), it can also trigger in them an irresistible urge to check things on their own devices — inattention is catching, even if unwanted.
• Engagement, aka if you’re in the room, be in the room:
Do not visibly react to the content of your device when your attention is supposed to be in the room. Do not spend all your time at a meeting looking down at your device. Do not abandon a speaker to an audience of down-turned heads typing and chuckling about things that clearly have nothing to do with what is being said in the room.
• Restrict your public device interaction to the things you actually need to do:
It is almost a modern-day reflex to reach for a mobile device at every opportunity. If you pull out your device to take a photograph or check a map, you don’t automatically have to also check your bank balance and your LinkedIn messages and the weather. It’s okay (indeed desirable) to do what you originally wanted to do, then put your device away and return your full attention to the room.
• Resist reaching for the device, where appropriate:
While the reflex to check our devices can be ever present, it’s not always appropriate to do so. If a) you know there’s no particular need to check your device right now, and b) you know it will negatively impact your own or someone else’s experience, then think twice.
as it appeared in the Huffington Post.