Manual of good manners for WhatsApp and calls

29 November, 2019

Surely someone has woken you up more than once with a WhatsApp message sent at an ungodly hour. And the worst thing is that it was a silly thing that could perfectly wait for another time.

On another occasion someone probably spoke to you as if it were a telegram, without politeness, without greeting, giving orders or demanding something directly.

And like these, I’m sure there are many occasions in which you’ve wished someone would drop their cell phone in the toilet. And it seems that with technology, some people lose their good manners, education, poise, consideration, prudence… Is anything goes?

Good practices with messaging

Well, not everything goes. Even if what we have in front of us is a screen, what is behind it is another person. The screen is not the end, but the means by which we communicate with another person. Although it may seem obvious, this technological layer that separates us from people acts as a veil that gives us the superpower of “anything goes”. If we continue like this, we will lose the ability to relate to people, we will start speaking machine language and we will forget those days when we used to say good morning, thank you or wait for a reasonable time to make a call or send a message.


What is considered prudent and polite when sending messages?

Keeping the following rules in mind will show good manners:

  • Send messages during business hours. In Spain, business hours are from 9am to 2pm and from 5pm to 8pm from Monday to Friday. During these hours it is polite to send any type of message.
  • Do not send messages during off hours. Those hours are not only at night, but also the midday break, since many people use it to rest, have lunch or disconnect. That time when we should avoid sending messages would be from 14h to 17h. In addition, we must take into account the hours at which people wake up. If we wake up at 6am that does not give us license to send messages at those hours. We stick again to the business hours that start at 9am. We should not send messages before that time.
  • Important messages. If we have to send an important message outside these hours, it is considered polite to do so until 10pm at the latest. In these cases, we will always accompany our message with a sincere apology for disturbing you after hours.
  • Urgent messages. Outside all these hours we can send urgent messages, because as we understand that it is an urgency, they need immediate attention. The problem with this, is what each one considers “urgent”. But there we can’t do miracles…
  • Long messages. As far as possible, always try to send a long message. When we send many single sentences in the receiver’s cell phone, the notifications ring constantly giving an impression of urgency. This frustrates the receiver a lot and sometimes he can even get angry if he is in the middle of something important and has had to interrupt his activity to check that he has received unimportant messages.
  • Messages in groups. When it comes to sending a message to a group, we must be much more careful, since the inconvenience we can cause is multiplied by the number of people in the group. This is very important because the time of others is as valuable as our own and we do not want to waste the time of others just because we are idle.
  • Greetings and farewells. Yes, it is necessary to say good morning, good afternoon, thank you, etc. If we do not do it, it seems that we are giving orders or being demanding. So we must be careful just as we would in person.

Telephone calls

The schedules mentioned in the message section above are equally valid for telephone calls.


In addition, we must take into consideration some additional details:

The person we are telephoning is not obliged to drop everything to take our call.

  • Insistence. When we make a call, we must remember that the person we are calling is not obliged to leave everything to take our call. This means that we should not insist if he or she has not picked up the call. We may be tempted to keep calling, to call their secretary, family member or whoever we think is nearby to remind them that they have committed a crime by not answering our very important call.
  • Introduce yourself. When we call someone for the first time or when we know they don’t have our number in their address book, we should introduce ourselves first. It is very common that I get calls from companies to sell me something and they always start: \”Good morning, are you Paquito Perico?” to which I have to control myself not to answer with “What do you care? Please, you should always introduce yourself when you make a call: \”Hello, this is Paquito Perico, I would like to talk to Paquita Perica if possible“.
  • The tired pocket. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I have several contacts in my address book who call me almost every week and are not really calling. They have left the screen unlocked and when they carry it in their pocket or purse they make random calls, annoying both friends and strangers. With the aggravating factor that they do it at any time. The police of good manners should confiscate their cell phones for life and declare them unfit to use a phone.
  • Trust is disgusting. Well yes, unfortunately, we think that trust is a wild card that cancels out the validity of good manners. And of course, as we have confidence, we call at any time for any nonsense. NO, poop! Another one that should endure the forcefulness of the police of good manners.

Video calls

This really makes me laugh. Some people think that you can make video calls at any time and to anyone.

I’m sure it’s happened to you: a video call comes in and you don’t have enough hands to hold your cell phone, look for a comb, a mirror, get ready, put on something decent and then, when you’re ready, they’ve already hung up. Is it so hard to send a message beforehand to ask if we can make a video call? Holy madonna


When it comes to communicating with co-workers, employees, customers or professionals providing services, we must be extremely scrupulous in applying all of these good manners. It is very easy to damage a business relationship by making an unwanted incursion into another person’s privacy or private time.

For example, for a freelancer, who is already juggling time for work, family and other personal matters… it is horrible to receive a work call on a weekend, late at night or in the middle of a midday break.

At the same time, having a client always calling when you are about to leave the office is the most annoying thing you can have. Or arriving at the supermarket 5 minutes before closing time… the rare thing is that they don’t overcharge you.

In short, we could summarize this article in this way:

Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. Use empathy, put yourself in other people’s shoes. Use common sense and do not put your interests ahead of those of others.

Applying this you will always look like a gentleman or a lady and no one will avoid wasaps or calls. If you want to know more about it, you will find more ideas on the website of


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