• 01.16.13

Here’s Some Important Smartphone Etiquette, Delivered In Old Timey Style

A new series of posters urges smartphone users not to be the worst all the time.

We’ve received one dose of retro motivational advice this year. Now comes a new set of vintage-style etiquette posters dealing with a very modern problem: smartphone abuse.


Most people would agree that, while useful, ubiquitous smart phones can make things unbearable sometimes. Whether you’re trying to carry on a conversation with someone distracted by a tiny glowing rectangle, or someone insists on fact-checking everything you say right as you say it, things can get pretty annoying at the speed of Wi-Fi. In an effort to curb these and other behaviors, the men’s website Art of Manliness tapped artist Ted Slampyak to put together a series of posters urging people to be more mindful with their phones.

Some of the work centers around common courtesies, like not being the guy on the bus who forces everybody in a three-seat radius to listen to half of a boring conversation. The scope also extends, however, to interpersonal relations, cautioning viewers against conveying big news to friends or family through text messages (something that one of the posters condemns as a cowardly move.) All in all, the posters put an old-timey spin on an eminently current problem.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.