5 smartphone habits you need to break

Designers share their pet hates when it comes to mobile devices. Are you guilty of any of these smartphone crimes?

A couple of weeks ago we investigated whether we designers are too reliant on our smartphones - and got some revealing feedback from those we quizzed.

At the same time, we also asked them to share their pet hates when it comes to other people’s smartphone use - and they didn't hold back. Be honest: are you guilty of any of these heinous habits?

01. Ignoring your friends

Ditch your phone

Tigz Rice

Consider it from your friend's point of view. They've been looking forward to seeing you for ages, and are hyped up for a night out. But whenever they try to engage your attention, your eyes keep wandering back to your screen. "Sorry about this, I'm listening, listening - go on," you say. But you're not. Not really.

Tigz Rice, fashion and burlesque photographer, puts it simply. "Being attached to your phone whilst at a social engagement, like coffee with friends, is unnecessary and rude," she says. "Nothing beats face to face engagement."

02. Missing the real experience

Ditch your phone

Ben Steers

"Commentating an entire event via social platforms seems crazy to me - you end up missing the entire experience altogether!" cries Ben Steers, creative director at Fiasco Design. And we'd have to agree.

When you furiously live-tweet every word of a design conference talk, you're not just losing hundreds of followers, overwhelmed by your 'me-me' spam - you're sacrificing an immediate, real-life experience for a mediated, digital one. And that's just, well, a little bit sad.

03. Filming not enjoying

Ditch your phone

Alex Mathers

"Recording hours of video at gigs right in front of you is really very annoying," argues Alex Mathers, illustrator and founder of Red Lemon Club. And he's right: there's nothing more guaranteed to make a music fan's blood boil than a load of stupid screens waving in front of their face and obscuring the very thing they've come to watch.

You wouldn't do it at the theatre. You certainly wouldn't do it at the cinema. So don't do it at gigs. After all, however good your smartphone is, the audio on playback is going to be dreadful anyway.

Watch the band, get into the music and you never know, you might end up actually enjoying the event itself rather than the bragging about it to your bored mates afterwards.

04. Public whinging

Ditch your phone

Dave Hughes

Dave Hughes, creative director of Ammo Magazine, cites "Complaining on social media and using it as an excuse to be sociable" as his number one smartphone crime. In other words, while admittedly you'll probably get more attention and followers by being scathingly negative (rather than providing measured, constructive criticism), acting like a spoilt child is ultimately a bit pathetic. So don't do it.

05. Being tedious

Ditch your phone

Jenny Theolin

Jenny Theolin, designer and Founder of Soapbox & Sons pet hate is slightly controversial: "Checking in on Facebook". She explains: "Most people seem to use those services to let the world know when they're down the laundry or the local pub again. I just don’t get it."

Theolin goes on to criticise: "fashion/mirror selfies, angry and grumpy outbursts, and couples tweeting each other about their dinner plans" as pet hates. If we removed all these things from the internet there'd be little left but pictures of funny cats, but we know what she means. It's nice to share, but there's such a thing as oversharing.

Think about a time you had to address a crowd of 20-30 people. Perhaps a big meeting at work, a talk you gave at a conference, or a speech at a wedding. Would you have warmed up the crowd by telling them that you visited a Starbucks this morning, that you had a skinny latte and a cupcake and that it was totally yum? No? Then maybe don't tell people on Facebook.

Words: Tom May and Lisa Hassell

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What bad smartphone habits annoy you? Let us know in the comments!