New Rules

Wired’s New Rules for Highly Evolved Human Beings (or perhaps, moderately tech-dependent folks) include some actual etiquette tips:

<<< If Your Call Drops, Call Back: “So what should you do if a spotty patch of cell coverage lops off the call before the closing bookend? (“Well, I really should get going. I’m trying to …”) Even if there’s not much left to say, the redial button is obligatory. Otherwise, the likely effect is either confusion (think colleagues or grandparents) or insult (think boss or boyfriend). ”

<<< Meet Online Friends in the Real World: Ways to ease the transition include video chat, or “you could always just sit across the table from each other and send text messages. Hey, it works for tweens.”

<<< Texting in the Company of Others Is OK: Really? Yeah, I do it sometimes, but it feels rude. The rationale here, though, is in line with etiquette mores through the ages: “Feel free to text while talking or dining with friends — but only if you’re trying to include someone who isn’t there. If your motive is to shut out people you’re with, you already know the answer.”

We had an awkward situation in a book group meeting once last year where someone (who is in her late 50s) kept taking cell phone calls and talking and laughing  on her cell phone in the midst of our little discussion circle in someone’s den. We tried not to listen to her and to focus on the book discussion at hand but finally we gave up and started talking about her.  She didn’t notice.

<<< Online Conversations Are Not All About You: “People will notice—and dislike—sneaky self-aggrandizement. Trust me, I saw way too much of that at Harvard.” Ha!

<<< Friend Your Boss But Not Your Boss’s Boss: It’s all about being a primate.

<<< Ditch the Headset: “Perhaps spending your formative years watching The Six Million Dollar Man and RoboCop gave you the mistaken impression that upgrading your body with electronics is the height of cool.” It’s not. (note ‘ear mullet’)

<<< Choose the Right Ringtone: Complicated diagram that ends with anything from “vibrate” to TI’s “Dead and Gone.”

I’ll never forget being in a bookstore 3 or 4 years ago and hearing “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” coming from a browsing man’s pocket. I suddenly felt I knew him all too well.

<<< Never Unfollow Someone Just Because They Unfollowed You: “If you follow someone primarily because you feel friendly, it’s a communal relationship. In this case, the appropriate thing to do is to continue following. After all, you care about the individual; if you expected a quid pro quo, you didn’t have much of a friendship to begin with.”

<<< Can I Talk on the Phone While Taking a Whiz? [in a public place]: No, you can only text, but “be sure you don’t hit the wrong button and end up putting a photo of your junk on Twitter. Trust me, you don’t want those followers.”


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