Posts tagged ‘texting’

April 10, 2011

Opposable Phones

You’re walking along, enjoying a beautiful 80 degree April day when BAM! a complete stranger runs into you. Why? They’ve had their head down engrossed in the contents of their cell phone.

You’re in line at the Loop pondering between a Loop and Swiss burger or grilled chicken sandwich when BAM! you’re inundated with the details of a stranger’s conversation. Why? They’re talking far too loudly on their cell phone about far too personal information.

You’re sitting at dinner with your friends at Sushi Love when BAM! you have to repeat a question to your friend. Why? They’re too busy looking at their plastic phone to pay any attention to the humans around them.

I know I’m not the only one to have found myself in similar situations to those above. Perhaps, I’ve even been that unknowing stranger perpetrator. The fact, is our phones are like an additional limb. We’re constantly attached to them and without them we feel lost.

This post, however, is not to dwell on our scary dependence on cellular phones. Instead, it is to offer some tips on how to manage that dependence in respectful ways.

  • There is a Time and Place for Everything

  • The Golden Rule

  • Remember a Time without Cell Phones

I’m not so sure I agree with MG Siegler that using your phone in social situations makes them more social. I’m more inclined to think that we were communicating and socializing just fine before cell phones took over. I’m certainly not advocating disregarding an obviously critical technology but if we don’t draw the line at the dinner table where do we draw it? In classrooms? Funerals? Bathrooms? Once upon at time, we didn’t have cell phones. We weren’t connected with each other and the rest of the world at large 24/7. And while we are connected now, we should be mindful of our habits. Nobody wants to be run into, ignored, or forced to listen to somebody else’s conversation. If a practice annoys you when others do it, make sure to abstain from that behavior yourself. If all else fails, you can always power down for awhile.

March 13, 2011

Textually Active

Before I get to some texting tips I wanted to mention that the more I continue with this blog the more I’m finding that I seem to be focusing less on things that are rude/impolite and more on that which is just downright annoying. Then again, maybe avoidance of obnoxious behavior is the way to be polite nowadays…Just a random thought.

WARNING – The following might be a tad persnickety.

Sometimes I don’t mind that my cell phone wants to predict what I want or will correct my mistakes for me. Other times, technology works against you. Just take half a second more to proofread your texts.

I love a good joke as much as the next person but unless it is gut-bustingly funny, pass on forwarding it to everyone on your contact list. Along the same vein, stop chain letters in their tracks.

-One word responses-
Just no. I’m not advocating entire full blown conversations via text but there are few things more aggravating then getting a text that only says things like:

  • k/kay/ok.
  • ya.
  • lol.

You might as well come out and say that you don’t want to talk to me.

-Timely Responses-
I understand that people get busy and that you can’t possibly spend all of your time texting, but try to respond in a timely manner. This is especially true if you’re the one to initiate the conversation. On the other hand, keep in mind that sometimes a response isn’t needed least you get that pesky one word response.

I’m terribly guilty of being on my phone while I’m with friends and it isn’t the way to go. Put the phone away when in social situations – pay attention to the people around you (especially on dates). Also, text in appropriate places. Obviously during a movie isn’t one. Keep the “Bathroom Rule” in mind.

-While Driving-
Another thing you simply don’t do. This isn’t even about manners, it’s about safety. Nothing is so important that you need to endanger your life or the lives of others.

-With a Purpose-
There is nothing wrong with shooting the breeze with someone but I find the “Hey. Hi. Done.” conversations to be useless.

-Under the Influence-
I know the old adage that a drunken man’s words are a sober man’s fault, but put the phone away while you’re intoxicated. Very few good things come from drunk texting. (Despite what Texts From Last Night and My Drunk Texts want you to believe. It’s only funny when it isn’t happening to you.)

Who you text and what you text should be private. Always ensure that any explicit content is wanted by the other party. Remember that you never actually know who might have possession of that phone. Beware of unintended recipients.

-Mass Texting-
Just because communicating with each other is easier, that doesn’t mean it should be any less personal. I appreciate wishing me a happy holiday, but some of the sincerity is taken away when you send the same message to everyone.