25 Jan 2016
Mind Your Manners: Etiquette In The Digital Age

Mind Your Manners: Etiquette In The Digital Age

Growing up I was always taught to say please and thank you, open the door for others and wait my turn.

As I’ve gotten older it has become more apparent that sometimes we become so engrossed in the digital world that we forget to pay attention to what or rather who is right in front of us.

As technology entwines itself in more and more of our daily lives, it seems that a few of us are forgetting how to interact with each other.

Here are a few tips on digital etiquette in the modern age:

1. Use Your Inside Voice

Why is it that some people insist on telling everyone on their daily commute every detail of their day? We don’t want to hear your conversation, especially not what you had for lunch. If you’re talking loud enough for the rest of the bus to hear your conversation, maybe you should hang up and call them back after you reach your destination. No one and I mean NO ONE wants to hear the intimate details of your break up or how you got food poisoning. And yes, I have heard these kinds of stories on several occasions.

2. Use Headphones, But Use Them Politely

Just because you’re using headphones doesn’t mean everyone around you can’t also hear your choice in music. I know we’ve all been there on our way home listening to our own music while having to listen to the terrible sounds emanating from the headphones of the person sitting next to you. Keep it to the safe volume level and we will all be happy.

3. Know When To Put Your Phone Away

There are instances when it’s okay to pick up your phone but when we are having a meal or are mid conversation, I’d really rather you didn’t. Yes, I know you’re in a rush or have limited time, but at least have the decency to put your phone down and engage with the people around you. If you feel the need to constantly check your phone every couple of minutes, maybe you should deal with what you need to before you sit down to dinner. I prefer my main course sitting opposite a smiling face rather than someone’s forehead.

4. Look Where You’re Going

If you’re walking down the street texting, liking Instagram posts or playing Candy Crush, chances are you’re going to walk into one, if not many, pedestrians sharing the path with you. I can’t count the number of times that someone has walked into me and hasn’t even had the decency to stop and apologise. Why not call who you want to talk to, or wait for a better time? That way you won’t have to stress about tripping over or walking into someone.

5. Mind Your Manners

This one applies to emails in particular. When you start an email a simple ‘hello’ or even just a ‘hi’ is good enough to greet someone. Similarly, when you require something from someone else, a please or a thank you goes a long way. Responding to an email or text, even just returning a phone call should be considered simply common courtesy. If someone has taken the time to contact you, you should at least have decency to respond.

So feel free to commute to and from work silently, and keep conversations polite and friendly. Let me know if you feel my pain or have any other tech etiquette related irks that bother you.

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