Pocket-sized computers, worldwide communication, instant access to any factoid, and more cat videos than you can watch in a lifetime - no one predicted today's digital life even a few decades ago. Unfortunately, these marvels have turned far too many of us into generally impolite and downright rude individuals.
Let's start with ...
The Dinner Sinner
These are the people who while eating with others shut out the rest of the world, including loved ones. You've seen them. Families sitting in restaurants, each with their respective screens illuminating expressionless faces. No one is talking. But there's a lot of texting, gaming and Facebook going on.
Instead, make the dinner table a gadget-free zone. It's easy when you make it a game. It's even better when there's money involved.
Ask each person to hold up his or her phone. Then, each person must place the phone in front of his or her place setting with one caveat. The phone has to placed face down. The first person that picks up a phone during dinner pays the entire bill. It's amazing how much better the conversation is and who's willing to pay big money to see who sent a text message.
The Public Restroom Talker
It's OK when you're at home but when you're in a public restroom, resist the urge to hold a full conversation in the stall. You're just too loud. You probably do not notice that your voice reverberates off the tiles.
Don't think for a moment that texting is permitted either. If there's any sort of line, be courteous. Get in, do your thing, wash your hands and leave.
I have a friend who has a solution for people talking on the phone in public bathrooms. He has a fart app on his smartphone. Yes, it's an app that can make all sorts of vile sounds. He turns up his phone's volume and he starts triggering the app until the person hangs up and leaves.
I never said it was a mature solution.
The Ear Whisperer
Earbuds and headphones are a do not disturb sign that tells the world you just don't want to be bothered. I get that. But when the person trying to talk to you is your co-worker, friend, family member or someone in a position of authority, can you please remove your earbuds or headphones? I know you can hit pause and this silences things on your end. Still, I would rather know for sure that I have your complete attention.
The Loud Ones
Ringtones, text alerts and mail notifications do not have to be set at full volume. Ditto for when you lose at Candy Crush.
And if you're going to share a movie's dialogue, turn the screen so everyone can watch. Better yet, turn down the volume until you throw on a pair of headphones.
Also, if you have the volume on your headphones up loud enough so other people can hear it, they're too loud. Not only is it annoying people, it's damaging your hearing. Do everyone, including you, a favor and bring it down to a polite level.
If you're running into poles, tripping off sidewalks and slamming into other people when you walk, you're probably trying to text at the same time. Stop, especially if you're headed my way.
Never text while driving. It's a quick way to kill yourself and plenty of other people. If you know someone who texts and drives, watch this sobering documentary from Werner Herzog at http://bit.ly/1lnpdQZ and maybe they'll get the picture.
And for the more than 11 percent of you who think it's OK to text during sex, that's just wrong.
The only person who wants three selfies a day of you is your mom. We already know what you look like; show us what you're looking at. Even better, put down the camera and just enjoy the scenery.
More sins to squash
I've got plenty of great tech manners advice that you really need to follow. Go to www.komando.com/mobile-manners to read my 10 Commandments for Mobile Manners or print out the poster to hang up in your home or office.
Be sure to share this list with your family, friends or any other tech users you know so we can make the tech world a better place.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Hear it locally at 94.3 WSC News Radio noon-3 p.m. Sundays. For more information, go to www.komando.com.
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