Save the Children has launched a campaign that encourages people to go without looking at their phones for a whole day on October 7th as part of an effort to raise money for vulnerable children.
Around 43 million people up and down the country – the majority of the population – use their phones every day, so the idea of going without is one that the charity acknowledges could be intimidating.
Nick Jones, fundraising director for Save the Children, said the concept of Phoneless Friday should be considered a fun challenge for people to try out with their friends, rather than a serious drive to give up smartphones for good.
“Whether at work, at home or in the pub, we’ve all got that one mate who is glued to their phone, so it’s about watching them squirm as they long to check Instagram, or watching them try and work out how to get somewhere without their map app,” he commented.
A survey carried out by the charity uncovered some unwritten rules of smartphone etiquette that some appear to consider very important. It was revealed that 64 per cent of UK adults consider it rude to text while talking – and this is a greater number than was recorded for some major social faux pas.
For instance, 63 per cent said it was rude to not give up a seat for someone who needs it and 54 per cent had issue with others being late.
Over half of respondents said bad phone-related manners are very frustrating, particularly among those who speak too loudly while having a phone conversation on public transport (66 per cent) and those who text during mealtimes (53 per cent).
Some 48 per cent of UK adults think it is bad manners for people to not look where they are going because they are composing a text message and more than a third thing it is poor form to text other people bad news instead of breaking it to them in person.
Comedian Dom Joly, who made a name for himself lampooning bad phone manners with his Big Phone Guy sketch on the show Trigger Happy TV in 2000, now acts as an ambassador for Save the Children.
The character shouted loudly on an enormous fake mobile phone in public or quiet places and at inappropriate moments, such as in art galleries.
Mr Joly said: “There was something cringeworthy but recognisable about him. We’ve probably all had a phone conversation a little too loudly or walked into something because we’re texting.
“Phoneless Friday is giving people the chance to get back to the simpler time of pigeon carriers and paper map reading whilst feeling great about ignoring your friends, because it’s all for an incredibly worthy cause,” he commented.
Anyone who wishes to participate in Phoneless Friday is invited to visit phonelessfriday.org.uk to contribute £5 to Save the Children.