Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How To Look Serious With Your Phone (5 Tips)

It happens daily. I'm faced with some serious work that can easily be handled with my phone, but I'm nervous to pull it out of my pocket. In the medical world in particular, the workplace is not a time for mobile frivolity, and skeptics abound.

Here are my five tips for looking serious when being serious with your phone.

1. Hold a pen in one hand. It just looks like you're working instead of chatting, I suspect it reminds onlookers of the Palm Pilots of yesteryear. I like to extend the pinky finger of the hand that's holding the pen. I'll occasionally draw attention to my pen by subtly tapping it against my forehead or pressing it against my temple, just to create the sell that I'm being serious here. If you're more adventurous, use another prop like a book- just holding it open can look like you're cross-referencing. Very serious.

2. Cradle with care. Hold the phone in your non-dominate hand, and tap at it with your dominate hand. If available, set the phone on a table. This looks like you're engaged in a task and either entering or manipulating content, rather than just consuming it. Even when I'm typing into a text field, I hunt-and-peck with one finger so that it doesn't look like I'm texting.

3. Don't hunch. Don't be caught cradling the phone in both hands, elbows bent, hunched over the screen like you're texting or trying to view someone's profile picture. If the phone is at a distance, it looks like you are open to sharing its content with others around you, creating the semblance that you are accessing professional material.

4. Share your screen. As often as possible, engage others around you in the content you are consuming. This helps establish you as a serious user because others can see that you're not fooling around. Additionally, it promotes the idea that a phone can have serious uses. Furthermore, even if you aren't shutting people out while engrossed in your phone, it's polite not to LOOK like you're shutting others out. However, be careful not to be that guy who is gleefully showing everyone how irrelevant they all are thanks to your snappy apps. (Even if you think it's true.)

5. Adopt a pensive look. This seems trivial, but really, who texts or scans Facebook with a knit brow and protruding lips? If the app is making you think, look like you are thinking (even if you're not).

Any other tips out there?


Jay said...

Great tips indeed, just to add a little more to #4, I often use medpage (Apple app) to read up on/share new articles and keep up with social network :)

astupple said...

Medpage- I'll check it out.