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

Zen and Tech is one of the many popular podcasts that Mobile Nations produces on a regular basis. Here we have Zen and Tech's host Georgia dropping in with some helpful tips that all CrackBerry readers should know. Enjoy!

By Georgia on 20 May 2013 12:40 pm EDT

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!!)

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

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


I've been making an effort to keep my phone in my pocket at all social settings. Even though the normal is everybody brings their phone out and sits it on the table in front of them. Just trying to improve my social skills.

Pfft if my date doesnt understand that im attacched to my phone then she aint worth knowing lol.

Seriously good tips and luckily i dont have to worry about first dates as im married and my wife is also attached to her Z10 more than i am :p

If you cannot leave your phone alone for the length of a date you have an issue... Focus on the person!

All good advice. One question if I may. Should I put my phone on vibrate when I keep it in my pants on a first date?

no WAY i'm turning off the ringer, at first. how else are you supposed to get that rescue call from a dear friend to excuse yourself from the date? then if the date is going well, you apologize to your date, turn off all notifications and continue on...

Rescue calls are rude and lame. If a date receives a call during a date, I'd call them on it. If it's an oversight, I'm thinking that this date really wasn't important to them and I have doubts I'd ever date them again, but if it's a rescue call, game over - right then.

Posted via CB10

funny thing is, if i answer the rescue call, it's already game over, i'm just trying to be polite at that point..

rescue calls are weak,,, if it's THAT bad, man up & bail,,, unless she's pretty phenominal, you've met her somewhere, rather than picked her up,,, the saves you from the ride home from hell...

No rescue call, I feel that you need to be kind and complete a date, even if the date is going poorly.

Georgia, I'm really not good with reading comprehension, and I do much better one on one. Perhaps you can demonstrate for me ;)

Posted from the CB App on my White Zed 10

Is this directed at any particular gender? I'm a guy and I've been on some first dates where I was really annoyed with her constantly texting or her phone going off and then she complains about it... I'm like, well Damn, then turn it off or on silent.

I thought it was not just smartphone or first date etiquette, but social etiquette as well. Unless everyone knows why your constantly on your phone while you're out with them.

Posted via CB10

I'm glad she used the Z10 for the video! Best example to explain how hard it is to put a BlackBerry down in any event ;)

Posted via CB10

Out of respect, for sure. I watched a young couple clearly on a first date a few months ago. They were talking and laughing at first. Then, after10 minutes went by, they were each in their own little world for the rest of the dinner date, texting someone else. Is this the future?

Sent from the future on my Z10.

What if you're pantless like everyone who participates in the CrackBerry 100K Challenge in the Rehab forums???

If she pulls out an iPhone, I'm gone before it hits the table. I've got enough idiots in my life already.
If you are not BBMing at least 3 other possibles while on the date, your are not hyperconnected.

OK ...
This look like the human evolution (with Darwin theory as a begin) is now migrating to an technologic direction. There will be no more White, Black, Ispanic, Arab, Asian... ethnics
...It will turn out to be BlackBerry, Android, Apple, Windows or WebOS ethnics. !?!?!!!

Hopefully BlackBerry will changed that by making BBM cross "Ethnic"

I always leave it in my jacket pocket on silent. Phones are a big distraction these days and BlackBerry's can be even more of a distraction with that crack light blinking. If your goal is to have a second date or more, PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY

So, yeah, if you really, REALLY need to msg/FB/Tweet, head off for a freakin' "potty break"...

Conversely, if your date makes a half-dozen bathroom breaks, take it as a sign that they either have a) an unfortunate medical condition that you REALLY don't want to get better acquainted with or b) a compulsive need to "share" everything, in real time...

For my gf and my friends, our rule is to stack our phones one on top of another face down on the table and no one touches it; first to grab, pays the tip.

Posted via CB10

no way I am having other phones stacked up on top of my Z10 are you maaaad?? :D , this is a BIG NO! ;)
Also my phone is not going on top of other phones on a stack pile... if that vibrator goes off you get the Jenga effect, where may cost you more than a tip. ;-PI prefer for it to be in my pocket ;)

Forgot to mention to put it on silent. My friends and I don't use vibrate so it never really is an issue for us. But as for stacking phones on top of a Z10, I don't mind seeing as all my friends rock a Z10. The tower is a thing of beauty I tell you.

Posted via CB10

Not quite the same scenario but I get REALLY frustrated when my dad visits and spends every minute on his SGSIII. >.<

Posted via CB10

Ignore these tips if you own a BlackBerry Z or Q10 for a while. At no time can we miss an opportunity to show off these phones to potential buyers. The date can wait, BlackBerry can't.

Posted via CB10

i hope these rules don't apply to single parents. Can't be out of contact when the kid is home with a babysitter...

if you don't know someone on their deathbed, having a baby, or keeping track of the kids, (within reason), no reason to have your phone out...

That is the pebble smart"ish" phone. It sends info from your phone to your watch, texts incoming calls.

hey Georgia, this is cheating! You should have mentioned this on the tips! Get your phone in your pocket and the pebble on your wrist... this is braking the rules... :D ... well, more like "bending" the rules. hahahah

nice one (nice catch there salexs11 hehe).

*whispering*: notice what?
*loudly* I don't know what you are talking about :-O ;)

welcome to CB btw :) happy to have you around.
(ps: do a pebble etiquette podcast too please ok... OMG! I think I messed it up again!) :D

Well, I must be really old fart to understand all of it without tutorials.
Unfortunately, savoir-vivre is long dead. At least in Northern America, oh, wait ... it was never known here. There are still some ladies and gentlemen in Europe, but it's dying species.

I don't know any ladies who could comply with every single one of these on a date. But all the ladies I know have apple phones...

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

Thanks for the great article and the needed change from the all alike articles. I know that doesn't make much sense but it appears a lot of the articles here are getting too mainstream. A liitle creativity goes a long way. Welcome to CB Georgia!

You covered it all except, the kiss good nite, guys don't have ur phone in shirt pocket..

Posted via CB10

there was a time ,not so long ago ,that people were saying that bb owners were ambarassed to show their BB's .The tide has turned ,show it off, and shove it in their faces,we all know we have the best , go for it!!!

Well, thank you for you advice, but I pretty much know how to handle my phone during a date. The problem is where is the date herself??! "Bring me a dough and I'll show U how to make a delish bread!" i don't know what's that got to do with what I'm saying but I just feel to type on my Z10. Do U have a lighter? :P jk

Posted via CB10

Don't let Georgias good looks fool you. She is one of the most knowledgeable people at mobile nations.
I don't date but when I did my phone always went on vibrate and stayed in a pocket. If it was that necessary to check that's what the washroom is for. Remember your on a date so give the other person the attention they deserve. The rest of the world can wait.

Georgia. I'll make you a deal. Let me take you out on a date and test your practices. Sincerely the best damned RDM dj/producer around :). Me.

Posted via CB10

My phone is always off on social occasions. Emergency contacts are the exception.

Posted via Z10 at&t

One more tips: if your friend is an iPhone or Samsung addict while you are a BlackBerry addict, don't fight. ;)

Posted via CB10

I had the phone before her, and i'll have it after she gone, Love me, Love my phone

Posted via CB10

*whispering to Georgia*: there... you see... darn! told ya so...

Winston, what are you even talking about! This is outrageous accusations you are making! :-P

Tough thing to keep it in your pocket when you don't have any. Which is a common situation for girls, wearing dresses and skirts.. then what?

Posted via CB10

I'm not dating anymore but if I was I'd like to see her phone taken out at least once so I could see the condition of her screen. If it's clean and in good shape she is a keeper. If it's cracked, dirty and full of finger print smudges a red flag goes up! If it has remains of yesterdays meals all over it I'd immediately ask for the cheque!

Posted via CB10

My phone is well used and I don't care for my phone that well but I do think that would make a great other post.

Great tips for the techies who are addicted to there phones. The lady needs attention or vice versa!

This is called being polite and sending the message to your date/wife/friend/daughter/son : "My time with you is more important than whatever can distract me on my phone." If there is a reason I might get a call I am upfront right from the start (sitter, sick friend/relative, etc. ).

That's a really funny title. I won't forget the advice, although hopefully moat of us know this already. Maybe this is just a good reminder.

Via Z10 & CB10

A lot in this list will be avoided since it's a courtesy issue that is heavily ignored by those socially addicted to suck services like FB or twitter.

Posted via CB10

I think it is interesting that we need tips, ok so maybe i am in the minority and i have been out of the dating scene for many years. But really if you are on a date is not the most important thing the person you are with this person could be your future wife, husband or life partner. Give it a shot and put the phone away leave it off no just silent but off no blinking lights no vibrations really if it that important then if you find out in an hour will it make such a difference?

Yes we live in the information age but sometimes just switching off and enjoying someones company makes us appreciate the simple elements of life before we were all plugged in and contactable anytime anywhere.

so heres my tip, switch it off and enjoy the time we have together it may make all the difference. oh and pebble watches or Bluetooth bracelets are great for meetings or on the go with the phone off there is no distraction.

Regarding an earlier post pertaining to Facebook and twitter. Fully support you on that i think its crazy that society is so involved that people feel the need to post when they buy a coffee on day morning or get a paper or go out for dinner. It is really not necessary tell me how much fun you had on your date over coffee or a drink or lunch the next day let technology be a tool not a master.