Etiquette for the modern world

I've noticed that my radar for technology etiquette has been on high alert lately. Is it just me? Are you getting frustrated by people's lack of decorum when it comes to the modern world?

(Apparently I have a lot to say on the issue.)

Let's lay down a couple rules. I think we can all agree on these...

1. Cell Phone Etiquette, calls

For some reason, some people just don't understand the deal with cell phone calls. It's easy:

  • Do not pick up the phone when you're with another person. 
    • This is the cardinal rule. Don't break this one.
    • In the car, at a restaurant, walking down the street, it's always a no-no. As the other person, I feel like you're more interested in what the caller has to say. Then, I'm stuck either resentfully listening to a conversation I have no part in or listening to you apologize that you're with me and will call the person back later. That second situation is absurd. Just don't pick up--that sends the message that you're busy!
      • Evidence: I was at a restaurant a couple weeks ago and she who will not be named picked up her phone when it rang and had a full fledged conversation with her neighbor who she talks to constantly anyway. COME ON. RUDE. Wait 30 mins 'til we're home and you can call her back. I had a physical reaction when she picked up the phone. My body was pissed.
  • Do not have a phone conversation on public transit.
    • Exceptions to the above two rules: parents who have a babysitter at home who is calling. Parents who see that the school is calling. If someone calls more than one time in rapid succession. If you start getting a million calls in rapid succession. Anyone with a sick person in their lives (except you, Laura Linney, we will never forgive you for that pick up in Love, Actually). An actress the morning that the Oscars are announced (not the Emmys, sorry).
  • Do not have graphic / inappropriate calls in public.
    • Children are everywhere.
  • Lock your phone when you turn it off.
    • The occasional butt dial is fine. Constantly is annoying.

  • Don't call someone when you have a quick question that can be answered via text. Phone calls interrupt things. Texts don't. 
2. Cell Phone, texting

  • Texting sneakily is easy. Feel free to do so when you're watching TV,  waiting for someone to come back from the powder room, on the chairlift, in a big group and need a moment to yourself, in the passenger seat of a car. 
  • Don't text while driving. No red light exceptions.
3. Cell Phone, when eating

  • Again here, parents with babysitters and anyone with a sick kid in their family are exempt
  • At dinner with other people, put your phone away. There is no need for your phone to be sitting on the table distracting you from the person you're sitting with and talking to and enjoying as company. What can't wait to 1 or 2 or 3 hours until you're done? Very little. 
  • If you're trying to think of the name of that Paul Simon song and just cannot remember it, fair play, take it out, Google it, then put it right back away (in your bag, pocket, or whatever).
  • If you MUST, take a pic or two for your Yelp review, but then, again, tuck your phone away.

4. Cell Phone, music

  • Recently I've been on the subway more often (new office), and I've noticed that people listen to their headphones VERY loudly. Guys, are you not concerned for your eardrums? I know people losing their hearing and it totally sucks. Protect what you've got. Turn that down.
  • When on the subway, under NO circumstances, should you play music directly from your phone as if it were a boom box (It is not a boom box). Unless maybe you are by yourself in a train car. 

5. Social Media: Instagram
Since the beginning of time Instagram, my friends had a couple simple rules to follow, some have been revised, I've added several
  • 1 photo an hour (revised to) per day (there is slight wiggle room here, but never more than once an hour)
  • You have 5 mins after posting to delete something, after that, leave it be
  • Be judicious (no one wants to see the blurry photo of your scrambled eggs/back of your child's head / sunset / dog with red eyes)--and for you likers, don't encourage this crap! Don't like things unless you actually like them.
  • Don't post pics of your screen unless it's actually funny to the gen pop
  • Exceptions: 
    • Celebrity sitings
    • Self depreciation
    • General hilarity
    • Actual beauty
    • Big events (we all want to stalk your wedding so more than 1 pic is fine, but maybe not more than like 10? Or spread 'em out? Also cool with home reno, it's like our own personal HGTV)
  • Side note: WHAT IS THIS STUPID TIMEHOP APP? And why do people feel like they can re-post pictures no one wanted to see a year ago, again? DO NOT, under any circumstances, use it. Especially for things like birthdays, vacations, words, drinks, sunsets. I want you to go through the effort of finding an old special pic for TBT, Timehop cheapens it.  #hatetimehop Use it for yourself, don't subject other people to your dumb nostalgia.


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