More and more, I've been witnessing otherwise perfectly conscious, healthy, and aware people behaving like full-blown addicts...Twittering everything, "checking-in" everywhere, and commenting on everyone, if not having three or four conversations going on by text, fb, or chat...all while "spending time" with family or friends. Seriously? Feels more like "wasting my time" and it's rude. I could be home watching Dexter, but I put my own addiction aside to be here with you and I think a little phone etiquette would go a long way. Here's a few tips, if you're interested:
1) Resist checking your phone every half hour to see what you missed. You're missing far more than you know right where you are. If you can't resist checking it, leave it in the car or in another room. You'll be amazed at how efficiently the world continues to spin without you!
2) If you HAVE to answer or talk on the phone while in the company of others, take it outside or in another room...and make it quick. It's not the time to catch up with an old friend or talk a new one out of their tree, but if you must save someone, excuse yourself and go find a phone booth, Superman. We'll understand.
3) If your car is also your office and you catch up on phone calls while driving (which works great if you drive alone and can be hands free), it's perfectly appropriate to tell the person you're talking to that you've reached your destination and will have to call them back. It's much more polite than walking into someone's home, greeting someone in a restaraunt, or walking into an appointment while having a conversation on your phone. Trust me...no one wants to hear it. Finish in the car or just say goodnight, Gracie.
4) Oh, oh, oh...speaking of driving, "No texting while driving" includes reading them, as well as checking fb, email, and twitter. It also includes looking up directions, programming your GPS, or shuffling your IPod. Do it before you take off, or PULL OVER before you hurt someone. Just makes sense.
5) And last (although there's a whole book brewing on the subject!), it's a big, fat TURN OFF. Consider yourself warned.
I have a sign outside my front door that says, "Thank you for removing your shoes upon entering.". I'm changing that today to "Thank you for removing your shoes and turning off your phone upon entering."
New era...new boundaries. Guess technology's still catching up with common sense.