When deciding what's apropos and what's a no-no in the world of tech etiquette, we'll take into account two things: What society, at large, deems appropriate, and what experts in the field have to say. And when it comes to the appropriateness of faking a phone call to get out of uncomfortable situations, we just got a major clue: Samsung has made "Make Fake Calls" a listed feature in their cell phone instruction manual.
Samsung's Make Fake Calls feature makes it easy to put on a show that your phone is ringing for your (unwanted) company. But there are plenty of third party apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry that can do the same thing (and even tell you what to say back to the fake caller).
So now that Samsung has gone and decided that it's completely OK to fake a phone call, here's a few morsels of advice on how to do it:
Know When it's OK to Fake It
Some approved situations where most people agree it's OK to fake? To get away from unwanted attention (like a lame pick-up), when you're trying to buy time to think, or to avoid looking awkward when you're waiting for somebody to come back to your conversation.
If You're Going to Fake, Fake Well
Make sure your ringer is off, face the screen away from your 'target' and have a fake conversation at the ready. You're already treading thin etiquette ice by making the "call," so make sure you pull it off.
Be Courteous to the Person You're Dissing
Remember, if you wanted to hurt their feelings, you'd just blow them off outright. By faking an important call, you're trying to soften the blow of the blow-off. Make sure to give them a polite wave and a quiet, mouthy "I'm so sorry, gotta take this" line as you mosey away.
Be Nice if You're Faking for Photos
One of the biggest reasons we fake phone calls? To line up camera phone shots of other people's hilarious hi jinks without cluing them on to our voyeurism. If you're doing the same thing, make sure you're not identifying the Glamour "Don't" walking down the street. And while it' probably OK to send the pic to a friend, don't post it to Facebook.