Charged Phone Etiquette, Vol. 15, Issue 45

Dear Etiquetteer:

I have a few questions about etiquette around phone chargers.

  1. When having friends over, for drinks or dinner, should phone chargers be available, if a guest asks? Is it appropriate for a guest to ask for this?
  2. Should an overnight guest expect a phone charger near the bed? What if your guest has a different phone brand from you?
  3. In a public place (airport gate for example) should you be aware that others may need to charge their phones and you may not need to fully charge yours? Share the outlet? While traveling, I had to recharge my phone at the airport gate. I used an outlet in the wall. The charge took a while and I got some dirty looks. Hey, I got to the outlet first and other people were using them, too. You can’t share an outlet. Did I do something wrong?

Thanks for your advice.

Dear Charged:

Reading your first two questions, Etiquetteer had to wonder if your houseguests had mistaken you for a deluxe hotel concierge instead of their host. Or is that a catty remark?

Etiquetteer doesn't understand how people can leave their homes for the day with a phone not 100% charged. Bad planning, Etiquetteer calls it. But emergencies happen, and it's not inappropriate for a friend to ask another friend for access to a charger. It is inappropriate if the friend insists on it and can't take no for an answer. You shouldn't have to stop whipping your soufflé to ferret out a phone charger.

As to outlets by guest room beds, Etiquetteer lives in a house over 100 years old, and overnight guests are lucky to have an outlet in the same room. With entrée to your home, your houseguests gain something infinitely more important than a phone charger, and that's the honor of your friendship and the pleasure of your company. If they need to have everything just their own way, they'd be better off at a hotel.

Ignore those dirty looks at the airport, but when outlets are scarce, don't use it longer than necessary. Pull out as soon as you're completely charged. Etiquetteer is happy to say that more airports are making a point of providing lots of outlets and chargers for travelers; Dallas/Fort Worth Airport stands out in this regard. Let's hope more follow suit!