Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Five People Who Must Learn a New Set of Etiquette Rules for their New Technology

Now that new technology (and by new, let’s make it clear that we’re talking some technology that’s been around for 20+ years even) has been absorbed by the majority of people in our world, it is time to talk about some etiquette problems that need to be corrected. Don’t get me wrong. I love what we can do now and wouldn’t trade it for anything… accept some common courtesy.

Do you know who you are, oh ye of the technology-etiquette failure faith? Let me clear it up just in case you are unaware of who you are and why you are maddening.

  1. The Meandering Texter: You are strolling down the sidewalk – very slowly – and, as I try to pass you on the left, you veer left right in front of me. When I change courses and head right, you meander over thataway! Please, for the love of all, “pull over” and finish your text. In doing so you have freed up the sidewalk for people who actually have to get somewhere and you’ve prevented a very serious collision with a street sign, fruit cart, Italian ice vendor or taxi.

  2. The Sudden Stop Texter: You are (probably) the same person as above. You are wandering aimlessly down the sidewalk, constantly veering into my path, but to add insult to injury, you suddenly stop dead in your tracks! I’ve nearly crashed into you and spilled the four smoothies I’m carrying back to the office. Again, imagine you are coasting down the freeway. Would you suddenly STOP there? I only approve IF a log has become dislodged from its truck bed and is careening toward you OR if a little old lady or a pram have wandered into the street (they were probably texting too and didn’t notice the road).

  3. The “Can’t Hear You Complaining” MP3 Listener: You are riding in the subway car and are several seats down from me… far enough that this shouldn’t be a problem. But I can hear the thumpa-thump beat of that song even though you have headphones or earbuds in. First, do you know how damaging that is? Second, I don’t want to hear your music. I don’t want to know what kind of music you like. I’m riding the train, minding my own business, trying to listen to my own music (or Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me) and do not appreciate the distraction you are causing. I can’t even ask you to turn it down because you can’t hear me and you can’t see me trying to get your attention because your eyes are closed. Are you sleeping? Are you even hearing the music? I’m confused.

  4. The “My Game System Has a Mute Button” Player: You are also on the train with me. I think you are related to the “Can’t Hear You Complaining” guy. You have a small video game system and, as opposed to your cousin, do not have headphones or earbuds in. Instead, you prefer to play your game with the volume fully up for everyone to “enjoy”. It is fun for you so it must be fun for us right?? Wrong. Please, I don’t care how many coins you collect, how many power boosts you accumulate or how many levels you’ve beaten causing castles to crumble to the ground. By all means, enjoy your game. But don’t make me participate in the game play.

  5. The “I Feel This Need to Share” Phone Conversationalist: You are anywhere – subway, sidewalk, my taxi driver – and are having a heated conversation with someone on your cell phone. You might be angry or lustful or any of 1,000 emotions but that doesn’t mean I need to know about it. If you’re mad at your man for not coming home until 3am… you tell him. But you don’t need to share. Maybe have that conversation somewhere private. If you need to confront your business partner about her stealing thousands of dollars from your company, maybe, just maybe, you should do that in an office somewhere. And Mr. Cab Driver, I don’t care to know what you are having for dinner or about the woman you met at the bar last night. I just want you to take me to the airport so I can board a plane and put on MY earbuds and listen to my music quietly so that I can drown out the crying baby two seats behind me. But that’s for another diatribe.

No comments: