In an era of debate and disagreement on a wide variety of social and political topics, here's something we can all agree on: our courtesy in the digital age could use an overhaul. Today's digital lifestyle sets up friends, family members and perfect strangers to annoy the heck out of each other. If you agree that we could all use a little more courtesy in our lives, take a moment during National Cell Phone Courtesy Month to learn the top eight tips for being more courteous in this digital age.
- Look up. It's the single easiest way to be more courteous to those you're spending time with. Put the mobile device down and look your friends and family members in the eye. Focus on the real people around you, not the screen in your hand, when you're having a real-life conversation.
- Turn it off. If you can't bring yourself to shut off the power entirely, at least silence your device when the event calls for it. The movie theater, church, classroom, business meeting, job interview and night out with your sweetie are all places you should silence your device to prevent creating a disruption if someone calls or texts.
- Refrain from texting. What's worse than your phone going off in a meeting? Getting into a long texting conversation. Whether it's a date, social gathering, lecture or other event where someone is expecting your undivided attention, it's incredibly rude to bury your nose in your phone and text someone who isn't there in person. Speaking of which, it's also incredibly rude to text with someone across the room, gossiping about other people around you, laughing softly and exchanging significant glances. You're bound to lose friends this way, so don't do it.
- Take it outside. Who hasn't been in a restaurant, waiting room or line at the post office where someone had a loud cell phone conversation? If the setting allows it, step outside to finish the chat. If you don't want to lose your spot in line, call the person back.
- Keep the sound off. When you're waiting at the dentist's office, DMV or car repair shop, you might want to play a game on your handheld device to pass the time. However, it's incredibly rude to blast your game's sound effects. If you can't play without sound, hook up your ear buds. Otherwise, courtesy dictates you mute the sound.
- Don't walk and text at the same time. Sooner or later, you'll bump into another pedestrian - or into a lamppost if karma is keeping an eye on you. It's not just for the sake of common courtesy; it's for safety, too.
- Think twice, post once. Do you really think your friend would appreciate it if you posted that video of her slipping on the ice? Even a photo of a perfect stranger making an awkward face in a candid photo may not belong online where thousands of people (or more) are bound to see it. Whether you're commenting on someone's post or writing your own status update, remember to think twice and post once.
Want more tips on courtesy from the master himself? Then contact Mr. Rooter® today.