Having cool doodads and gadgets is a great thing when it comes to staying connected, multitasking and getting things done while we’re away from our computers. But what about the dark side of technology? We’ve all had our moments of being too absorbed in our devices to notice we’re breaking some big techtiquette (tech etiquette) no-nos. Finding the right balance between being dialed into the real world and interacting through our tech can be tough.
We’ve put together a list of a few techtiquette rules to follow and we want your tips for skirting around these rules in a socially acceptable way!
- Limit tech time during “wind down” hours – When you’re hunkering down to unwind and spend quality time with your spouse, kids or significant other, nothing says “warm fuzzies” like everyone having their nose buried in a different screen, right? Turn off your phone and gadgets for a while and enjoy each other’s company.
- Avoid knee jerk reactions and arguments – Everyone has an opinion, especially on the Internet. It’s easy to get into nasty arguments, get caught up in flame wars and get sucked into the vortex of “I’m right, you’re wrong” syndrome. Try to remember that there’s an actual human on the other end of the screen before you break out the snark cannon, and don’t waste your time on negativity. Simply put: don’t engage the trolls and don’t be one yourself.
- Be mindful of your “tone” – Whether you’re texting, messaging, emailing or chatting on social media, don’t forget that electronic communication loses important nuances like tone of voice, facial expression and other human elements. It’s very easy for folks on the other end to take things the wrong way when they’re just reading your words on a screen.
- Save your phone time for lunch break – Not only can you get in a lot of trouble for getting caught tinkering with your phone during work hours, you also won’t get a lot of work done.
- Don’t post on social media during work hours – If your boss, manager or a nosy co-worker spots you Tweeting about how boring your workday is instead of actually getting work done, you might be in for a nasty surprise. Remember: you never know who’s watching.
On the Go
- Cool it with the selfies – Documenting the awesome moments from your world with a photo or video gives you a nice memento, but if you spend more time worried about getting the perfect picture or capturing the coolest selfie rather than actually enjoying the moment, you might have a big problem.
- Be present during dinner and functions – Nothing is more irritating than sitting down to dinner at a nice restaurant with someone who can’t keep their hands off their smartphone phone. Put it away, and wait until after dinner to check it. Likewise if you’re at a funeral, church, a family get together, or some other less casual social setting.
- Keep it down – If you’re in a library, sitting in a coffee shop, on a bus or somewhere else where there’s a lot of people in close proximity. Try to limit your phone call time, until you have more space. It’s easy to get so absorbed in your conversation, that you don’t realize that EVERYONE in a 15 foot radius can hear you loud and clear.
Optimize your Techtiquette
Those are just a few bits of tech etiquette to keep in mind. If you have others, please feel free to share below!