Party Pointer: Cell Phones at Parties

Do you have friends who whip out their cell phones, check or send texts or take or make calls every time they walk in your house? You may see this behavior in the wider world, but it may seem like a breach of etiquette from a guest in your home. How can you handle cell phones at parties without causing a scene?

The first way is to model good cell phone behavior yourself. When you go to someone’s home, leave your phone in the car glove compartment, in your purse or in a basket provided by your host as you enter her house. When you are hosting a party, do not use your cell phone when your guests are in your home.  If one of your guests is anticipating a special call from a babysitter or a child, you might suggest that he/she put his/her phone on vibrate. When the time comes, guide the guest who must take a call out of the main party area because other guests don’t need or want to hear his/her personal conversations

As a host, you have a right to announce to your guests before the party that you would like to have an “unplugged party,” so your guests can pay attention to the people who are there. Be certain to let people know that your party is phone-free before they show up, so they can plan accordingly. Don’t ask them not to bring their cell phones–just ask them to turn off or mute their cell phones during the party.

it’s best to be absolutely clear about what your party’s phone policy is. Be certain guests know if phones are banned completely or if it’s just a matter of silencing cells. As for posting photos of the party to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another channel, be clear about what you want your guests to abstain from. Don’t chastise any guest who continues to use a phone in front of other guests because that is equally rude.

Check out the answers to more etiquette questions at the Emily Post Institute, etiquette experts known around the world.


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