15 Ways You Are Being Rude With Your Cell Phone

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Rude cell phone behavior has always annoyed me. Ever since my incident with the rude cell phone talker in front of me at a Speedway gas station, I’ve been compiling a list of ways people act rude when using their cell phones. I stopped at around 15 examples of cell phone rudeness, although I’m pretty sure I could double the list if I gave it enough thought. Read on for some bad cell phone habits that I’ve observed.

Examples of Rude Cell Phone Behavior You Should Avoid

Cell Phone Rudeness Is Never Pretty

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This list is going to make a lot of people angry, which isn’t going to bother me a bit. You have your opinion and I have mine. It is my hope, however, that the people reading this list may realize that something they have been doing might be construed as rude to other people (like me) and will adjust their behavior.

I’d also like to use this blog post as an open forum for things you think people using their cell phones are doing that are rude. Who knows? I might be doing something that I didn’t realize was rude. Truth be told, I’ve been guilty of a few of the things on this list from time to time.

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment and let me know which ones on my list you agree or disagree with. Then let me know what new ones you would add.

Rude Cell Phone Behaviors To Watch Out For

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  1. At the cash register (or any other place where face-to-face human interaction is happening)
  2. In a public place where reasonable quiet is expected (restaurant, movie theater, library)
  3. On an airplane (yes, we can all hear you)
  4. In the car (as a driver). Not only is this rude but it’s extremely dangerous (to yourself and others)
  5. In the car (as a passenger). If you check your smartphone because you’re bored, then so is the driver
  6. At the drive-thru (see #1)
  7. When people are talking to you in person
  8. At the dinner table
  9. Playing music, videos, games or anything else that makes noise without using headphones (and even then, at a headphone volume that other people can still hear)
  10. Talking on speakerphone (see #9)
  11. Taking pictures of other people with you and sharing them on the Internet without their permission
  12. Constantly checking your phone to see if you have any new messages
  13. Talking way too loud (you don’t need to talk as loud as you think you do)
  14. Not silencing your phone when interacting with other people. Even if you don’t respond we all have to listen to the alerts.
  15. Wearing a Bluetooth earpiece or headset when you’re interacting with other people (Bluetooth is fine for the car or at your office desk, but please take it off anywhere else. It looks ridiculous.)

Technology Should Not Trump Common Decency

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It goes without saying that phones allow us to become more interconnected as humans. They bridge gaps that used to span continents, now held together by mere cell signals. However, it’s still not an excuse to be rude. There are other rules besides the ones listed that need not be spoken. Being mindful of what you do, especially with rude cell phone behavior, will only help you in the long run.

Are you this person? Watch as CBS points out how people react to rude cell phone behavior in this video:

Take care not to be the person people get annoyed at. Being on your cell phone constantly is okay and all, but remember to keep it on the down low. No one wants to look completely oblivious to everyone around them. A little common decency when using your cell phone is the best idea for you, and everyone else around you. We hope this list of rude cell phone mannerisms has helped you understand more about these bad habits so you can avoid doing them in the future.

What other rude cell phone behaviors do you think should be on this list? Tell us in the comments section.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 30, 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.




  1. Phylis Sullivan

    It is amazing how many times I thought people were nuts…talking to themselves while they were in the store shopping and it turns out they had the blue tooth devise in their ear. The talking to loud is another one. I really do not want or need to hear about who is being a brat or who you are meeting for lunch. Some of those conversations should really be much more private than in public on a cell phone. I work retail and sad to say there are many people who talk on their phone while checking out. Very few apologize. Walking and using your phone while texting. Waiting to see someone walk or trip over someone or something. It is just really sad that no one can wait a few minutes and finish what they are doing and then call back the person that called them.

    • Patric Welch

      Phylis – thank you for your comments. Sounds like we agree on many things here :)

  2. Connie

    You left out those who do NOT return phone calls or answer texts (for days…. some never). They offer up really lame excuses. “The phone was in my purse”. “I saw/heard your message but was busy, then I forgot”. And you refer to me as “friend”? I know not to call you if there is an emergency. I understand not answering during all the events mentioned in the original reasons above, but to never answer? I even used the same tactics on “friends” that don’t answer. I just don’t reply. And GUESS WHAT? They send a text or call within hours asking if I’m okay. Really? Tables turned.