A nice link from the great site Tech.life goes strong.com
Survey says: Others use their cell phones in annoying ways – but not you
BY: STEWART WOLPIN FEBRUARY 25, 2011
“In olden days,” philosopher Cole Porter once musically mused, “a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking. But now, God knows, anything goes.”
If Mr. Porter was to point his caustic composing at today’s mobile digital culture, the “glimpse of stocking” might have been “text while walking.”
At least this seemingly rude mobile behavior would be considered shocking when perusing the results of a recent survey on mobile etiquette conducted by Ipsos and sponsored by Intel. Last night I briefly attended an Intel-hosted presentation of the survey results at the Campbell Apartment in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
I had to leave this proper etiquette expose early to meet friends for dinner – which may have been rude, except the event started nearly an hour after the time indicated on the invitation, which I thought was quite rude.
You likely sense my snarkiness at this whole concept of “mobile etiquette.” Personally, as soon as I hear the word “etiquette” I have to stifle a barf. Wasn’t ours a generation of social revolution? How often was our long-hair, bell-bottom jeans or leather jackets, our rock ‘n’ roll, The Wild One Marlon Brando casually rebelling against whatever you got behavior seen as “rude” by our parents and elders? It wasn’t rude to us – it was just how we acted, and our elders were as clueless as Dylan’s thin “Mr. Jones.”
Ditto for today’s mobile generation. No one in a group of Gen X’ers gathered around a table all on their mobiles would consider any of the others rude. As Mr. Porter implies, as times change so do societal behavioral norms.
But perhaps I’m in the minority where attitudes toward mobile etiquette are concerned.
Here are some of the key survey findings:
91 percent said they have seen others misuse mobile technology, including using mobile devices while driving (56 percent), in a public restroom (48 percent), in a movie theater (32 percent) and on a honeymoon (9 percent).
And yet, only 19 percent admitted to their own poor mobile behavior.
See? It’s only rude if someone else is doing it.
That’s because “etiquette” and “rudeness” imply subjective and situational behaviors conforming to or acting contrary to the social norm. But if everyone acts a certain way, ergo, that IS the social norm. As George Bernard Shaw once noted, “When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity; since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.”
And there’s a huge difference between “rude” and what is self-defeating or downright dangerous. For instance, the top mobile etiquette gripe is driving while using a phone. That’s not rude – it’s mostly illegal and potentially fatal. It’s akin to saying, “Oh, I shot you? How rude of me!”
The cell phone Golden Rule
Anna Post, great-granddaughter of Emily, posits five mobile etiquette behavioral guidelines:
� If you don’t like others’ bad behavior, don’t engage in it.
I believe this is called the Golden Rule and slightly predates cell phones.
� Give your full attention to those you are with.
Not paying attention isn’t necessarily rude as self-damaging. “Pay attention” is always a good rule-of-thumb, cell phone or no.
� Before making a call, texting or emailing in public, consider if your actions will impact others. If they will, reconsider, wait or move away first.
Moving away is a great idea, but less to disturb other people than to be able to hear what the other person at the end of the phone is saying. Personally, I always move away – not to avoid offending but because it’s no one’s business what I have to say to someone.
� Talk with your family, friends and colleagues about ground rules for mobile device usage during personal time.
Rules? In a knife fight?! Oh, sorry, wrong reference. So, I should ask how I should behave? What am I, 12 years old? Should I ask them what I ought to wear for fear of offending? Oh, I’m sorry, are my mesh shirt, hot pants, purple thigh-high boots and Hentai tramp stamp inappropriate for your wedding? But I’m wearing a corsage!
� Some places should stay private: Don’t use a mobile device while using a restroom.
Can I answer my email, listen to music or read an ebook while engaged in other necessary stall activities? But I’m not so sure this is as much rude as unsanitary. A better rule is “Please wash your cell phone before leaving restroom.”
What about my needs?
This all assumes someone is using their cell and you’re not. What about the behavior of the unequipped toward those of us using our mobile device?
This actually has happened to me: I’m walking down the street, earbud cords dangling from my ears. I’m OBVIOUSLY on the phone or listening to something. But you ignore my self-imposed sonic isolation and tap me on the shoulder to ask directions.
Just because you refuse to join the rest of us in the 21st century by not getting a phone with navigation capabilities, you feel free to interrupt my reverie? Now THAT’S rude.