Cultural Etiquette and International Protocol

Are You Dating Your Smartphone?

That is what it looks like. How often have you attended an event and noticed people standing off to the sidelines engaged with their Smartphone? Sometimes they even gather in small groups to text and simply ignore everyone else. Have you experienced this? Or is this you? Unfortunately, smartphones and other hand-held technologies provide people an escape route from interacting with the people around them. There have been numerous occasions when I wanted to approach someone but detoured because I did not want to interrupt their texting. Yet we attend events to meet people. Go figure! I am probably as dependent on my Smartphone for messages as anyone else; however, when I go to an event, I turn it off—unless, of course, I’m texting directions to the event. Please share your thoughts on the following:   (-Gloria Petersen)
1. So how do you react when you encounter someone texting instead of mixing?
2. Does this alter your impression of them? Do you ignore them? Or do you just go ahead and interrupt?
3. If you are the one engaged with your Smartphone, how do invite others to interact with you?

One Response to Are You Dating Your Smartphone?

  • Hi Gloria, first of all, could I have your permission to share this on our office Facebook page? (MCC Career Services).
    My comment on this is, I think it is very rude to take a phone call or text when you are with someone, whether it be at a networking event or even a personal event at a restaurant or somewhere. What could be so important that you have to talk on the phone or text when you are with others? If it is an emergency, like maybe your children are phoning, you should say “please excuse me, I have an emergency here” (then walk away to take the call). If you take your phone call when you are with someone, you are saying “you’re not as important as the person on the phone.” It’s not too many years ago that we didn’t even have cell phones. People got through life just fine without talking on the phone every 5 minutes. We had to wait until we got home to get or make phone calls. Now, we can’t drive down the street without seeing most other drivers talking away on their phones. I always put my phone away when I drive. And when I am out somewhere, I do not take calls if I am with someone. I simply ignore the phone and put the person I am with first.

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