Cell phones, iPads, and other portable electronic devices are ubiquitous in today’s society. Everyone has a phone in their pocket, enabling them to take a call, answer a text or send an email anywhere, anytime. While this pocket technology is certainly helpful in allowing us to conduct business or personal matters on the go, it has certainly created a series of social issues surrounding digital etiquette.
Most social norms, like saying “thank you” or holding the door for the person behind you, have come from hundreds of years of ingrained nice manners. But because all our portable technology is new within the last two decades, there are no social norms for when and where it is appropriate to use these devices.
In our recent Leadership Idaho Agriculture session in Moscow, we had a short seminar on digital etiquette. It is important for all of us to recognize how to use our phones, tablets or what have you in a manner that is appropriate for whatever situation we may be in. This applies to everyone in society, from teenagers to grandparents, farmers to POTUS.
Guidelines for Cell Phone Use:
- Lower your voice in public! If you have to take a call in public, try to go somewhere at least ten feet from the next person. No one wants to hear your conversation.
- Keep private topics out of the public sphere. Keep those conversations to your home, car, or other personal space
- Don’t take calls, texts, or emails when you’re with someone else. No one on the other end of that line is more important than the people you’re with. There are exceptions to this rule, so if you’re expecting an important call or text, please let the people you’re with know ahead of time.
- Put your phone on silent when you’re: in a museum, church, movie, meeting, restaurant, play, concert, or the like. A ringing phone disrupts everyone!
- Don’t talk/text and drive. Accidents and deaths due to talking and texting while driving are up. Stay safe and just don’t do it
- For more cell phone etiquette tips, visit this website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/26/cell-phone-etiquette-15-r_n_514927.html
Guidelines for Internet Etiquette (Netiquette):
- Remember that there are people behind the words online. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.
- Remember that everything you put online stays online, so be mindful of the content you share
- Email is not as private as we’d like to think. Email can be spread quickly and easily.Be careful what you send and to whom you send it.
- Protect your kids. The internet can be a dangerous place for kids. Monitor their Facebook accounts, email, Instagram, video game sites, and all other places they visit online. Talk to them about how to stay safe on the internet, and what is appropriate content to put online.
- For more internet etiquette tips, visit this website: http://www.ptd.net/index.php/internet-etiquette
Internet and cell phone etiquette is becoming a popular topic as more and more people tire of being snubbed by a phone call while out with a friend, or interrupted during dinner by the next table’s loud phone conversation. Here are several good articles on digital etiquette by other bloggers.
- Privacy, Etiquette and Our Ever Evolving Social Norms (mi621.com)
- Phubbing: The act of snubbing someone for your cell phone (fox43.com)
- Cell Phone Etiquette (lemonwaterblog.wordpress.com)
- Internet Etiquette (lotsofmarblesinajar.wordpress.com)