Mobile Phone Misdemeanors
By Samuel Greengard
You would think that, after all these years, people would have some notion of mobile phone etiquette. Unfortunately, things are getting worse rather than better. Here are some things that are certain to tick off your colleagues, family, friends and strangers:
Switch off. Attend a meeting and you begin to wonder if everyone has attention deficit disorder. Heads bowed, fingers swiping and nobody listening. Here's an idea: Demand that participants switch off their devices. You might actually get something done.
Be a blockhead. Want proof that people can't multitask? Watch them block hallways, office door entrances, elevator exits and just about everything else when they're yakking away on their phones. Get out of our way, please!
Go out to lunch. Don't be a narcissistic moron who constantly takes calls and checks text messages throughout a lunch or dinner with others. It's rude--and, no, you don't look important or influential. There's a word we call you and it starts with an "A". Pay attention to the people you're with!
Pump up the volume. I'm not sure science will ever fully understand why people raise their voices 30 decibels when they talk on a mobile phone. Honestly, your conversation isn't all that interesting to everyone else (unless, perhaps, you're Hillary Clinton or Tim Burton). And, for goodness sake, don't talk in the restroom! Take your business elsewhere.
Tag the team. The pictures from the Friday evening happy hour probably shouldn't wind up on Facebook. And whatever you do, don't tag your colleagues without checking with them first. Believe it or not, some people still hold the faint notion that privacy exists. You should respect this.
Connect to disconnect. At a certain point, you really have to wonder whether some people even want to be on vacation ... or spend time with their family. Believe me, the office can go on without you, and the world will definitely go on without you. Take some time off. Heck, you might even be more productive when you return to the office.
Drive us crazy. You've heard of people who can't walk and chew gum at the same time. The digital equivalent: people who can't drive and talk simultaneously. You see these people everywhere, and they put your life at risk by weaving across lanes and running red lights. Try to do one thing well: In this case it's probably wise to choose driving.