Skip to main content

When it comes to using your phone in public, there are some dos and don’ts; a social etiquette if you will. Two weeks ago we asked you to take part in an informal poll to find out what places you find it acceptable to use your phone – or not. Here are the results.

Our poll was split into two parts. The first part was to find out where you thought it was OK to make a phone call, and the second was the same question but for sending or receiving text messages.


Phone calls

The top (there is no right and wrong) answer here, is ‘In bed‘ scoring over 17 per cent of your votes. Almost a fifth of you agree that making phone calls in bed is acceptable.

Now, we didn’t stipulate whether you would be in bed alone, or not, but I feel the results would be different if it was the latter. At least I hope it would.

Making phone calls ‘In elevators‘ receives over 14 per cent of the votes, while ‘In the bathroom‘ receives just fewer than 14 per cent. The tiled floors and walls you find in bathrooms make for an acoustic nightmare that send a barrage of echoes to the person on the other end of the line. You can always tell when somebody is calling you from a bathroom.

Fifth on your list of places to make a phone call was ‘On a plane‘. Whether using a phone on a plane can cause it to crash is still to be proven, but it’s not worth the risk. Is it? Over 10 per cent of you think so.


The last three items on the list for making phone calls, are: ‘At a funeral‘, ‘At the cinema‘, ‘Job interviews‘, with 2 per cent, just under 2 per cent, and 1 per cent respectively.

It’s good to see that people still respect other people’s feelings when it comes to attending funerals, and when they’re watching movies at the cinema. It’s not surprising that people don’t make phone calls during a job interview; why would you potentially mess up a new job opportunity?



Joint first and second here, is ‘In elevators‘ and ‘In bed‘, both collecting over 13 per cent of your votes. Third, with 13 per cent, is ‘Hospital/doctor waiting room‘. This latter option reached fourth in the phone calls poll, but we’re glad to see that people are being considerate when surrounded by sick and vulnerable feeling people. If you must contact somebody, do it quietly.

It seems that more of you make phone calls while ‘In the bathroom‘, than those who text – which I find unusual. Texting by nature means that you can do it from anywhere you want without the other person knowing where you are. Still, 12 per cent chose this option.

Almost 10 per cent agreed that sending a text message ‘On a plane‘ was fine, and ‘Sitting down at a restaurant‘ took over 9 per cent.

Dinner table

It’s reassuring to see that ‘At a funeral‘ appears in the bottom three again. When it comes to people’s emotions, you’re mindful of breaking their feelings and know that that text message can probably wait.

We’ve all been there, you’re talking to somebody ‘Face-to-face‘ and the other person pulls out their phone to reply to a text. It’s annoying, it’s rude and it’s just not on – according to just fewer than 3 per cent of you.

At the bottom of the list is again ‘Job interviews‘. Keep it professional and wait until you get outside to send that text. Nothing is worth losing a job over.

Thanks for taking part in our poll.

What do you make of these results? Are you surprised by any of them? Use the comments section below to let us know.

Image credits: scragz, ralph and jenny, PhillipC

poll results