Does your apartment roommate interrupt a conversation to tweet the latest thought that popped into her head? Do you ever feel your best friend would rather bond with his phone than focus on you?
If these situations have happened to you, then you have been the unfortunate victim of poor technology etiquette. Or perhaps you have been a perpetrator?
Remember that good etiquette isn’t just for weddings and high tea. Observing etiquette rules regarding your personal technology can be just as important as respecting etiquette in any social circle.
Here are some tech etiquette tips to try whenever you are in the presence of other people and feel the urge to reach for your phone or other device — whether inside or outside your apartment space!
Know when to turn off your phone
You’ve got to know when to put your calls on hold. Don’t take your phone out at the dinner table, during important meetings or at most social events. Don’t start texting while someone is talking to you; it shows that you are ignoring their conversation. And always put the person you are talking to first in mind. If you need to make or take an emergency call, explain the situation to the person, who will likely respect your attention and your intentions.
Choose what you share wisely
With online social networks like Twitter and Facebook a part of everyday life, people seem to share every thought that crosses their minds as a tweet or a status update. Think before you share, however. Do you really want everyone knowing about this? Ask yourself, if I post this, will it seem too much like bragging? Am I going to hurt someone by posting? Update your privacy settings on Facebook so you can share certain news with select groups. And when in doubt, don’t share!
Re-read before you hit send
When sending a private message or e-mail, always re-read it before you hit send to make sure that you have not made any inadvertent errors. With AutoCorrect second-guessing our words, we have all made a funny faux pas or two, but remember that careless errors might make messages appear unprofessional.
Also, re-read your words to make sure your intentions and meanings are clear. An idea might sound one way in your head, but be taken a completely different way by the reader, if not communicated in clear language.
Know when a conversation should happen in person
Use your best judgment to determine when technology is not the best method of communication. Sometimes a conversation should not happen via e-mail or over the phone, but should take place face-to-face. Think before you dial or boot up your computer. Is what I have to say important enough that I should share it in person?
Knowing your technology etiquette shows that you have style and indicates that you care enough about the person with whom you are communicating to put his or her needs first. Remember to place the human ahead of the high-tech in all your interactions!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / imageegami