You’ve just boarded the bus after a grueling day and you’re looking forward to a peaceful ride home, when in marches a human megaphone talking on a smartphone, and who, of course, sits right next to you.
To avoid being “that person,” follow these tips to help with digital etiquette when traveling on public transportation.
Answer calls and converse the right way: Keep your personal conversations personal, or try not to have them at all while in transit. If you must carry on a conversation, keep your voice low and do not have it over speakerphone. The people around you don’t need to hear your conversation. A good rule of thumb is to keep a physical distance of 10 feet between you and a fellow commuter when having a conversation on your phone. If you receive a non-urgent call, it’s acceptable to either let it go to voicemail or answer the call and tell the caller you need to call them back. Another alternative is to have a text message conversation instead.
Place your phone on silent or vibrate: You can’t help it if friends and family call you while on public transportation, but you can control your phone’s volume. Though you may find serenity in hearing your Iron Maiden “Hallowed Be Thy Name” ringtone, it might evoke a different response from those near you. So offer your fellow commuters the same tranquility you seek and place your phone on silent or vibrate.
Keep the entertainment to yourself: Be mindful of the eyes and ears nearby who may take offense to your form of mobile entertainment if you use your commute to catch up on TV shows, browse Facebook, or listen to your favorite music. By all means, catch-up on “Walking Dead”, or with Facebook friends, or jam out to your favorite hardcore rap song — just don’t broadcast it. The people sitting next to you shouldn’t hear songs that require censor bleeps.
Instead, invest in a cool pair of Beats Studio Over-Ear Headphones and privacy screen protectors. You will experience clearer sound and feel at ease knowing you’re the only one viewing photos from your friend’s party.
Being mobile means you can stay connected while you’re on the go. Just make sure your manners go along with you. Be considerate of the people around you and spread the digital etiquette awareness.