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Keeping it in your pants: Top 10 smartphone etiquette tips for a first date

We're geeks. We get it. Our phones, be they Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, or Windows Phone, are among the most important things in our lives. We use them for everything, all the time. But in some situations our phones can get in the way, like on a first date.

So, from one geek to another, I'm going to share ten basic tips on how to keep your smartphone from ruining a potentially great new relationship... by keeping it in your pants!

Here are the bullet points, watch the video for the details!

  1. Don't use your phone during a first date. Your attention should be on the person you're with, not the device in your hand.
  2. Turn your ringer off. Turn vibration off. Turn notifications off. Go into bedside mode, do not disturb mode, or whatever it takes to keep your phone quiet.
  3. Turning your phone away isn't as good as putting it away. Really, it has to be out of sight to be out of mind.
  4. If you're expecting an emergency call, be upfront about it. Knowing really is half the battle.
  5. $#!+ happens. If you forget to turn your phone off and it goes off, apologize, put it away, and get back to your date.
  6. If your date leaves the area, that's not an excuse to jump back to your phone. If you do decide to text your friend, make sure you don't get caught.
  7. And don't post anything to a public social network your date might see, especially not without their consent.
  8. If your date leaves their phone behind, that's also not an invitation to start snooping. Take a deep breath and leave their phone alone.
  9. Pay attention to your date. Keep eye contact. Use their name. Make sure they feel like the most important person in the room.
  10. Know when to break the rules. If your date wants a picture, to bump phones for contacts, to set up a second date, then do it!

There they are, my tips for how to have a great, phone-free first date. I'd love to hear your tips too, so hit up the comments and tell me what you think! (Especially if you have any juicy phone-related dating stories to share!!)

Also: Apologies for the lack of a Windows Phone in the video! We were all set to buy a 920 before the shoot when the 925 was announced and so we're waiting on that because, awesome!

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Reader comments

Keeping it in your pants: Top 10 smartphone etiquette tips for a first date

64 Comments

Did not have a WP device, will not listening!!! jk
I do whole heartly agree with you, people have really lost their dinner etiquettes period. Even when eating out with a friend at a nice restaurant, it's really annoying to see them have their phone out.

Yes, if any of these points aren't obvious then, excuse me, but you are a #$&!ing idiot. But I'm over forty so I guess I remember how to communicate face to face;)

Naturally, you should not be interacting with your smartphone while being on a date in general - and I am not referring to just the first date. I agree that a ringing smartphone can be an annoyance. Yet, it may also present opportunity. Have you ever considered that it presents a choice? You can either pick it up or leave it unanswered. You could even decline the call. Your choice may  affect ones perception with regards to you.
 
If my date would pick up her phone during a date; It would be quite a turn-off. Picking up the phone means that she gives preference to the one who's calling over the one she's sitting with in reality. Yet, if she would turn down the volume and decline the call, it would give me the impression that I'm actually valued over the one's calling. This can even be emphasized by the 'excuse' you are making.
 
The good thing about dating is that every 'flaw' in the date actually presents opportunity to show your best side.

How about you simmer down and locate your calm.

Take a deep breath!

Ok, ready?

You are a halfwit. Now shut yer gabber!

Probably good advice for beyond the first date as well. I keep the phone away unless the conversation warrants one/both mutually looking something up (rather than wondering "who was in that movie" until later), but just having the phone out and browsing social media or the web is kinda rude.

Also, anytime you're eating, don't put your phone on the table. It makes you look like a pretentious douche.

Decent advice (allthough a bit straightforward). I don't think you should hide your phone no matter what. If it's part of your life, your date should know about it. But it can also be a conversation-topic/starter. "What phone do you have" or something like that could be very informative. Also the phone itself could say a lot about the other person. Just know that you shouldn't make the topic too long or it might get boring or steer away from the reason of the date (instead of becoming companions it could result in a nice chat of what apps you like and then part ways lol).
Age is also something to concider with these tips. Younger people might show off their phones more often than people of (somewhat) older age. Just don't make it a contest on who has the better/more expensive/best looking phone.

I meant from the volume controls ain't no body got time to go into settings all the time to turn vibrations off.

Well good tips. Mostly common sense. If I am with people (or a date) I do not pull out my phone unless its for the occasional picture taking or I want to show them something such as a picture, information, etc. Other than that, its in my pocket on vibrate. By the way, Georgia, you're gorgeous. ;)

This list is missing a key point that should be #1: Compare phones immediately on first date. If s/he does not have a Windows Phone, s/he is obviously not worthy of another minute of your time. Immediately end the date, sparing you years in a miserable marriage and a War of the Roses divorce.

That's a bit harsh don't you think? Its not like everyone out there is into tech like many of us here. Although it would be cool for her to have a WP phone, what phone she uses or other technology she uses is not a priority I look for in a girl.

I've never dated a girl since 2007 who didn't have an iphone :( . Im going to change that this time though, I've told my gf im getting her the Eos lol.. Hopefully should encourage her to take some self shots ahem :P

I dont mind if someone uses a different phone that I do.  Now if they dont use a smartphone I may wonder a bit about our different views on technology.  My level of Geek may far out weigh theirs.  

Great advices, its really crazy how people in restaurants (especially young people) behave. Using your phone during that time is really rude in my opinion. Unless its for taking pictures when you're at the bar or y'all just finished eating at the restaurant then ok I understand but not during the meal

I disagree with the 'quiet your phone' thing. I think vibrate is fine, especially if it's in your pocket, coat, or purse. It's only and issue if it's vibrating on the table like a junebug.

Pagers? Do they still exist? I saw a few back in the 90's before mobile phones gained widespread acceptance.

I can't lie, I felt a little slighted that she didn't let a Windows Phone make an appearance in the video.  I also wonder if it's any less rude to check your watch as many times as she did in the example clips. :)

It's unfortunate that these things need to be pointed out to people.  Is it really that difficult to PAY ATTENTION to the person that is in front of you?  

Especially when the other person isn't getting the hint that the end of the conversation is long overdue.

I wish to be a young man to enjoy such tips, though i do the same with my wife. I witnessed a girl in an emergency for having a rotten tooth an her boyfriend was non-stop on some news app. Total idiot.

If you need this advice, don't worry. You'll have plenty of time to practice before your next date. :D

Georgia what should be done when a geek would date with a geek? That would be an interesting article for fun, e.g they will not talk each but rather text, if they don't understand anything may be they would ask from Indigo or siri etc

Big Bang Theory did this just recently... a very shy girl and Raj had a date txting in the library.