Friday, February 5, 2010


I'm sure the etiquette books will take years to catch up on all the new technology.

texting while driving
Here are some textiquette tips, etiquette guidance for you texters out there:
  • First off, you do have a choice to text. Consider the consequences of waiting ten minutes to read and respond to text messages. Does your business or personal relationship depend on instantaneous, on-the-spot decisions? Really? Your life may be better with different relationships.
  • Don't text and drive. Don't even use your phone. Don't believe me? Here's what Car and Driver had to say: "... the next time you’re tempted to text, tweet, e-mail, or otherwise type while driving, either ignore the urge or pull over. We don’t want you rear-ending us." If you need to text on the move, hire a driver.
  • If you're walking, the same advice applies, either ignore the urge or pull over. Today a woman stopped to text in the middle of a narrow sidewalk. That annoyed those of us who were left to find a way around her. That wasn't as bad as the guy I saw walk into a street pole while typing. I know I'll see a texter walk into traffic soon.
  • If you're shopping, shop. It's also annoying to navigate around shopping carts in the middle of aisles while a shopper writes an urgent love poem. It's even worse to wait on queue to check out while someone saves the world with a text message.
  • Don't text during a conversation. There is no simpler way to show that you don't respect the other person's attention or time. If you expect an urgent text, make an agreement before you start the conversation that you'll only interrupt your friend for a text from your best friend who's expecting quadruplets any second.

Your need for information that speeds up your life may end up slowing down everyone else. For instance, access to a phone in a car is great. A conversation with a friend (while someone else drives) makes the trip less tedious, and smart phones can help us navigate through bad traffic with alerts and navigation maps. Unfortunately, drivers who talk on cell phones also increase traffic congestion.

Mobile communications have freed us to find each other spontaneously, to update each other instantaneously, and to find answers to movie quizzes before any of our friends. Good etiquette means taking advantage of this information safely and courteously. The first decision you should make when you get a text message is whether you can wait until later to read it.

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