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Text before you call and avoid voicemails – the rules of mobile phone etiquette revealed

Experts in etiquette have advised on the best way people should use their mobile phones – including no longer leaving voicemails.

Those who want to call a friend would be better off messaging them first to nail down a time to speak if they do not pick up straight away, says DeBretts.

The firm said: “This preamble might seem cumbersome to traditional phone addicts who love nothing more than spontaneously picking up the phone, but it is considered a much less stressful way of initiating contact, since it minimises intrusion and enables people to manage their own time.”

DeBretts’ ‘ten commandments’ also include advising people not to expect calls to be answered straight away – unless they are someone older who “still possesses vestiges of the old obedience to the phone’s clarion call”, adding a text is a “politer and more informative option”.

It also says phone users should avoid leaving voicemails, calling them “rambling voice messages” and “onerous”, instead advising users to send a “brief” text instead.

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People should “withdraw” from calls if the person they are talking to appears to be flustered or irritated, and younger callers should be more mindful of elderly people’s phone habits – because they may “find texting (which involves reading glasses and deft fingers) hard work”.

“Think for just a moment about how much technology has changed in their lifetimes, and cut them some slack,” DeBretts added

There are also warnings against repeatedly phoning an unanswered phone to prevent a “rise in your recipient’s blood pressure”, and against making loud calls in public, saying they are “annoyingly distracting”.

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The company also warns some people may find receiving a phone call “alarming”, adding they are “more likely to react to them with panic or dread”.

DeBretts said using the words “there’s nothing to worry about” can often indicate the call is not being used to transmit bad news.

“There are some instances where the human voice must take priority” to communicate “nuance” and “sympathy” it added.

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