OWN
09/26/2014 10:44 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Dos And Don'ts Of Using Your Phone At A Dinner Party (VIDEO)

You're dying to Instagram that gorgeous chocolate soufflé -- is it a compliment to the chef, or a complete faux pas? And what about texting during a party -- is it OK as long as you leave the room first? Etiquette expert Jodi R.R. Smith says there's a right way (and a rude way) to use your phone during a dinner party. In the above #OWNSHOW video, she shares her dos and don'ts.

Taking Food Selfies at a Dinner Party
Smith says it's OK to take a photo of your food, but don't get caught fiddling around on your phone. The key, she says, is to ask politely first.

"You want to say something like, 'Jodi, this looks wonderful. May I take a quick picture before we start?'" Smith says. Afterwards, put the phone away.

Texting During a Cocktail Party
Phones are not electronic security blankets, Smith warns. "You really should have your phone totally and completely away," she advises. "When you're there you need to be mindful and interested in the things that are going on around you and the people that are next to you."

To keep yourself in check, turn your phone off before you walk through the door. "That way you can pay attention to the people who are there and with you," Smith says.

Leaving the Room to Check Your Phone
The only polite way to check your phone is to go into another room, Smith says. "But here's the deal. In every two hour segment, you can only check your phone once. You don't want people to think that you have some kind of social anxiety disorder where you're constantly leaving the room, so you should be able to make it through a two-hour cocktail party without perpetually checking your phone," she says.

Posting a Status Update During a Party
You're at a party, having a great time -- why not share it on social media? "You want to be careful, it's really a double-edge sword," Smith warns.

When the guest list is a selective group of people, Smith says to wait until after the event is over to post. "There could be people in your social circle – or people who feel they're part of your social circle – who were not included in this particular interaction," she says. "And by posting a picture during the interaction, it's going to make them feel very badly that they're not there as well."

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