(CNN) – You know where your salad fork is. But how about your smartphone’s place at the table, especially at a business lunch or even on a first date? Rules of protocol are falling into place for your mobile gadgets.
Just like mom told you to keep your elbows off the table, etiquette experts say to keep your phone out of sight during meals too.
“Your smartphone, your iPhone, your crackberry, your Blackberry, all of that should be off the table, because really what it is, is a non-verbal statement to those other people, that they’re not really as important as your phone,” said Pamela Eyring with the Protocol School of Washington.
What you might interpret as a sign of the times may be off-putting to a potential boss, client or even a date.
Updating your status message or tweeting during your meal, especially if it includes information about who you’re dining with, without their permission, can also be considered poor taste.
Despite their portability, tablet computers like the iPad are also off limits at the table.
“It’s much more distracting than even the phone. Because it’s larger, you put it up on the table, you’re clicking away, and you’re moving your hands, and you’re totally not connected with the person that you’re sitting with.,” Eyring said
Because when it comes to making a first connection, you don’t get a second chance.