Friday, June 24, 2011

Smartphone Etiquette, Please

If a person is busy sending an e-mail or a text on their smartphone while having a one-on-one conversation with me, in person, I find that just plain rude.  Yeah rude, I’m not overreacting.  We all know time is of the essence, and multitasking is a good skill.   But, is it really necessary to piddle upon the keys of your smartphone, with your head down, when I’m asking you how your day is going? That scenario has happened to me many times with coworkers, at networking events and even with friends and family. 
Here’s another example.  Earlier this week, I was at a seminar/luncheon where a woman seated at the table in front of me was ferociously typing on her smartphone, with her head lowered, during each presentation – there were three.  She barely stopped to eat lunch.  And, it wasn’t a huge hall. It was an intimate setting, only about 40 of us.  The speakers were less than 6-feet away from her table. I even caught one of them glancing at her.  I pictured a bubble over his head, like in cartoons, saying to her, “You’re like school in the summertime: No class," quote by Rudy of “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.”
As a former adjunct instructor, I know how it feels to talk to an audience with members who are texting, or updating their Twitter status.  Though, they were 18 and 19-year-olds.  The students grew up with social media, and texting to them is like breathing.  I explained the error of their ways.  Still, there were a few who couldn’t stop their compulsion.  Yet, the woman at the luncheon is a professional in her 30s, she should know better.
All I’m saying is we are living in a society where technology has enabled us to isolate ourselves enough to only virtually socialize.  When we actually have human to human interaction and conversation, perhaps we can put the smartphone down.

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