Friday, September 30, 2011

More Communication, Fewer Manners

It seems like manners have gone out the window in this age of connectivity. In social situations, we are competing with smartphones and tablets for the attention of our associates. We see unintentional rudeness occurring due to devices all the time. Below are some examples of common connectivity faux pas and stategies to prevent committing them.

Phones at the Dinner Table – Just as you would not turn your back to someone you are talking with, texting or answering your phone while dining is not very polite.

Tips to Avoid this:

  • Excuse yourself from the table if you need to take an urgent call.
  • If you know you will be distracted and curious if your phone alerts you of a text, take a preventive step and turn it off.
  • For dinners lasting longer than an hour, you could suggest the table take a “cell phone break” for those who need or want to check their emails or messages.

Loud Phone Calls in Public Places – No one wants to hear the ins and outs of a stranger’s relationship. While you may not realize how loudly you are speaking or how quiet the environment around you is, you can be sure the people close to you do.

Tips to Avoid this:


  • Silence your phone and do not answer it
  • If you need to answer the call, step away to a secluded area to take it and tell the caller that their call is important and you will call them back in x amount of minutes.
  • If you must take the phone call and you are waiting in line, ask the person behind you to hold your spot and quickly go take your call.

Becoming Overly Dependent on Digital Communication – Email is a popular way to communicate but making it the only way people can get a hold of you will make you too dependent on your device. This can lead to disconnection and distraction in face-to-face social situations.


Tips to Avoid this:

  • Make the most of face-to-face communications.
  • Make your phone to be the best way to get a hold of you over email or texting.
  • Resist the urge to respond to email immediately, wait to check it after you leave your social engagement.

In the age of connectivity it is up to us to recognize when the things we do have a negative influence on our environment or our companions. Tell us of any examples you can think of where being overly connected has created social faux pas.

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