Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Intel "Holiday Mobile Etiquette" Poll

I've ranted on here before about technological etiquette, or that lack thereof by many people. (See my tedious screed from 3 years ago: "A Few Snooty Words about Technological Etiquette." Man, I was really angry when I wrote that piece!) As much as I love technology and defend its unrestricted use, I think it's important to encourage social norms about proper technology use to make it less likely people will call government in to act as a nanny.

That's why I found this new "Intel Holiday Mobile Etiquette" poll so intriguing. According to the poll, which was conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Intel:

most online U.S. adults (80 percent) feel there are unspoken rules about mobile technology usage, and approximately 7 in 10 (69 percent) agreed that violations of these unspoken mobile etiquette guidelines, such as checking e-mails, sending text messages and making phone calls while in the company of others, are unacceptable.

Hmmm... While I'm glad that such a large majority still have a sense of propriety about such things, this sounds like a case of people saying one thing when they likely do quite another. Then again, my perspective might be biased by life in a big city where people have PDAs practically glued to their hands full-time. I've even grown accustomed to people staring at their digital devices more than me during conversations and meetings. Of course, that could just be because I am so damn boring. Regardless, I just remain shocked by how people feel they simply must take every call, answer every email, or do whatever else on their devices in the presence of crowds or others. In my rant from 3 years ago, I offered "Two Simple Rules of Techno-Etiquette" that I will reiterate here as the first steps down the path to techno-etiquette recovery:

(1) If you absolutely MUST take that cell phone call or answer that e-mail right away, try saying this: "Excuse me, do you mind if I do this real quick?"

(2) Do not EVER, under any circumstances, answer a cell phone call while you are in a restaurant, movie theater or other public establishment where relative quiet is expected. If you have to take the call, go outside.

Seriously, would that be so hard?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:46 PM | Generic Rant , Wireless