Keep it in your pants – your phone, that is

There are few things more annoying than the glow of smartphone devices in a darkened theatre, obscuring the screen above and making it impossible to just enjoy a movie. Or how about the person loudly talking on his phone on the streetcar, or that unprofessional coworker who constantly checks her phone during meetings?

This week, Telus Corp. published a survey and accompanying report listing Canadians’ views on the cardinal sins of smartphone use. Using the Google Consumer Survey tool, Telus polled about 500 Canadian adults between May and June.

Telus then published its results in this innuendo-laden report, along with a social campaign titled #KeepItInYourPants. Choice phrasing includes “whipping it out in front of pals can get you kicked out of the friend zone” and “caressing it in class will land you in detention.”

Aside from the risqué references, there are definitely some etiquette tips in there worth paying attention to.

According to the survey, some of the worst places to pull out a smartphone (read: taboo) include movie theatres, funerals, weddings, church, the dinner table, and in social situations like conversations.

Conversations seemed to be especially sensitive areas, with about 56.6 per cent of respondents saying checking smartphones is worse than being constantly interrupted. Another 49.6 per cent said checking a smartphone is ruder than telling someone to shut up.

Being a constant smartphone user also carries heavy consequences for one’s romantic life, especially on first dates. More than half of respondents said they’d leave if their date’s texting got to be too much, or that they would not go on a second date.

Still, there may be a reason for all the rudeness. About 75 per cent of those polled said they’ve used their phones to purposely ignore someone else, or to avoid a conversation they’d rather not have.

Plus, the people who are most likely to pull out their smartphones in the workplace tended to be the ones who make the most money. Out of 187 responses, about 47.4 per cent of respondents who make between $75,000 to $99,999 a year tended to be first of their coworkers to pull out their phones, with 46.3 per cent of those being in the $100,000 to $150,000 income bracket. Another 32.6 per cent were in the $150,000 and up range.

Still, don’t expect any mea culpas here – survey respondents didn’t seem to be particularly self-aware of their poor behaviour while using their smartphones. While nine out of 10 people can recall a time when someone else used a cellphone and it annoyed them, only 30 per cent said they have been called out themselves and agreed they were wrong. In fact, 40 per cent of respondents said they didn’t feel they had done anything wrong, when someone else called them out for committing smartphone-related sins.

For the full report, head on over here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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