Is It Rude To Look At Your Phone When Someone Is Talking To You? An Etiquette Expert Weighs In

We all know the feeling of being in a conversation and suddenly noticing that the person you’re talking to is looking at their phone. Is it rude? We asked an etiquette expert for their opinion on this modern dilemma. Read on to find out what they had to say!

Is it rude to look at your phone when someone is talking to you?

It can be considered rude to look at your phone while someone is talking to you. To maintain respect and focus during a conversation, it’s best to keep your eyes on the person speaking. If you’re too distracted by your phone – whether checking notifications or scrolling through social media – it sends the message that what they have to say isn’t important.

It’s not always necessary for phones to be put away entirely; sometimes quick glances are acceptable if there is an emergency. But in general, keeping yourself focused on the speaker will help make them feel valued and respected.

If you need a break from the conversation:

    • Take a moment of pause before looking at your phone
    • Explain why you need a break
    • Make sure they feel heard before taking time away

Finally, remember that polite conversations should occur both ways! Make sure that when someone is talking with you, you’re giving them equal attention as well.

Other Perspectives to Consider

A Matter of Perspective
When someone is talking to you, it can be easy to assume that looking at your phone is rude. However, there are many different perspectives that may determine whether this activity is seen as rude or not. It all depends on the context and situation:

  • For some people, they may view this action in a more relaxed manner if they have no expectations for the conversation – perhaps it was an informal chat with a stranger.
  • At the same time, if someone has expectations for their conversation such as having a meaningful discussion with a friend or colleague then glancing at their phone could be perceived as disrespectful.
  • The person who is doing the talking might also take offense since it implies that what they’re saying isn’t important enough to hold one’s attention.

It really comes down to personal interpretation; while some people might consider looking at your phone during a conversation inappropriate behaviour in certain contexts, others may find it acceptable depending on how close they are with their conversational partner. Ultimately though, being courteous and respectful will go along way towards avoiding any unwanted misunderstandings!

Possible Alternatives

Rather than looking at your phone when someone is talking to you, there are plenty of polite ways to show that you’re listening.

  • Maintain eye contact and an open posture. You can also smile and nod occasionally to indicate understanding.
  • Make comments or ask questions about the conversation topic. This helps keep the conversation going in a positive direction.
  • If something important comes up during the discussion, take notes on it so that you don’t forget what was said.

The most important thing is to be respectful and attentive to whoever is speaking. Showing interest in their words will communicate that their thoughts are valued even if you don’t agree with them. It’s also beneficial for both parties if they can have meaningful conversations without getting distracted by cell phones!