9 New Rules Of Phone Etiquette

Modern phones are pretty awesome, so why are we so bad at using them?

phone couple

According to the New York Times, people don't talk on the phone any more. Where once someone would make dozens of calls in a day, we now find the medium to be intrusive and tedious. Ironic, considering that we're rarely more than a yard from them.

While this less verbal approach toward communication may be de rigueur in the business world, people wearing each other's letter jackets, bumping uglies or considering holding hands need a much less tele-phobic approach.


As you read these 9 new rules for phone etiquette, please keep in mind that I hate talking on the phone:

1) Don't hang up on someone and expect her to call you back.

2) If someone doesn't pick up the first 19 times you call, do everyone a favor and leave a message on the 20th try.

3) If you text someone on three distinct occasions and she doesn't get back to you on any of them, it's probably time to delete that number.

4) If you're in a relationship with someone, even if it's on the bricks, you should respond in a timely manner to voice mails and text messages, unless the leaver of the message has abused you, banged your best bud or in some other way put you through the proverbial ringer.


5) At the very beginning of a relationship, if you haven't responded to someone's text or voicemail after three tries AND they keep pinging you, you should probably have a "we're not anything to each other" or "your attempts at communication are making me uncomfortable" conversation. See point 4 for established relationships.

6) Everyone has drunk-dialed someone / been drunk-dialed and, unless what was said was wildly inflammatory, we should just sweep it under the rug. Also, anything hilarious may be brought up at a later date, with points being scored based upon the casualness with which it is referenced.

7) Don't keep the other person up too late, as sleep is important. Unless you're calling from Afghanistan, or there is some sort of emergency (and yes, frightening loneliness and existential freakouts can count as emergencies), it's probably time to hang up after the other person nods off for the third time.

8) A suspected pocket dial is a perfectly valid reason to call someone back and, if they don't pick up, you should leave a message. It can be as simple as, "It was probably a pocket dial, but I thought I'd say 'hola, brah.'"


9) Try phone sex if your partner is into it. It can be weird, and you might be paranoid that someone's listening or recording, but if you're separated by hours and miles, trying out a little dirty talk—at least one or two tries—can be rewarding.

In general, don't be an ass-butt. I'm pretty sure that's the modern day Golden Rule, and you should follow it. 8 Tips on "Giving Good Phone"

Any rules that missed the list?