Mind your (techie) manners

Thank God the elections are over.

I survived my first camping (IN A TENT) trip with the Girl Scouts at Camporee!

Nuts & Magazine sales are on for Girl Scouts.

Not to mention the Mixed Bag Design fundraiser at our school, which ended on Monday; and the See’s Candy sale, which started on Tuesday.

Fall volleyball season is over for the girls; already signing them up for the Spring.

The Sports Dude is scheduled for his big surgery Thanksgiving week (no cooking for me this year).

Sadly, we are also dealing with a parent with terminal cancer.

Good new is, I can’t complain about having too much time on my hands.

But it is time to turn my focus back to legal marketing and The Legal Watercooler, and what better way than with Emily Post’s new rules of tech etiquette for the office.

For those of you who thought etiquette ended in the days of Downton Abbey, you are wrong.

Social norms, while in flux, still exist and we need to find our way through the haze (which is now legal in several states, I hear).

From the above linked article:

These days, employees seem to care more about connecting with their devices than with their fellow colleagues.

In fact, 4 in 10 HR managers have received a complaint about an employee’s improper use of mobile technology in the work force, according to a recent study by Intel. The most common complaints? A phone ringing during a meeting (60 percent) and using a laptop to check email or surf the Internet during a meeting (44 percent).

Does that mean you shouldn’t ever take helpful gadgets with you to meetings? No. But how we deal with these modern-day peccadilloes is constantly evolving.

Technology is here to stay, so deal with it.

I bring my iPad to meeting to take notes, read documents (have you seen what the LMA Board Book looks like??? Puts the Vogue September issue to SHAME), and, yes, keep tabs on the office. Discreetly.

I have to use my common sense, however, at all times.

When I attend a conference where I intend to live-Tweet or blog, I introduce myself to the speaker, letting him or her know that I am not tapping away to be rude, but am communicating their message to my followers.

When I am at a business event, or social functions, the iPhone is put away, unless there is an emergency that I am following (personal or professional).

To completely plagiarize from Miss Post, our smart phones are not additional utensils meant for the dinner table, and really should be kept out of sight.

Don’t get me wrong. Technology is a beautiful, beautiful thing. But it can also be more than a distraction.

At home, we are having to institute some rather strange rules, such as “no technology in bed after 10:00 p.m.”

Our punishments for the kids seem to revolve around technology: “If you hit your sister, you lose your iPod for the weekend,” and, “If you annoy your sister to the point that she hits you, no YouTube for the weekend.”

I don’t think that the final book has been written about technology and etiquette, but as we all make our way through the maze of (tech) life, I have found a few articles that might be of help:

Or, when in doubt, follow my simple rule: “Don’t be an a**hole.”

 Illustration by Ross MacDonald/Photograph by Kang Kim via RealSimple.com

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  1. I really like the new “do not disturb” feature on the latest Apple IOS for iPhone. It allows you to schedule a time period when calls and alerts will be silenced (like 8PM to 7AM). You can make exception for numbers in a list, such as your Favorites (which include my immediate family). This of course is to give me peace of mind should any one in my family have an emergency. The call come through. You can also enable or disable repeated calls from the same number within three minutes…I leave that enabled, again, in case someone not in my favorites is trying to reach me for an emergency reason. Of course you can change the time duration at any time (and its really easy) so for example if I’m in a meeting, at an event, or just need quiet time, I just adjust the DND setting. Voila!

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