Okay. Put down your phone*. It’s time to talk. For the Rue team, Instagram-ing is a way of life, but we realize we can spend our lives a little too glued to the screen. Sometimes, we need to disconnect and actually talk to the person across the table. So when do we indulge and when should we draw the line? It’s a constantly evolving question thanks to technology (Google Glass, anyone?) but it all comes down to what all etiquette is about- being considerate.
(*Unless you are reading this on your phone. Keep reading.)
Do fill your companions in. No one at Rue is confused when I whip out my phone just as they are showing me their newest living room renovations. They know what it’s about, but my mom would be a little more confused. So I try to share what I’m doing with her. “These new curtains are so cute, Mom! I’m going to snap a picture to Instagram later!” Likewise, when you need to take a call or return a text, just let your lunch date know. (And make sure it’s something that truly can’t wait.)
Don’t browse. There is nothing ruder than signaling that you’d rather be somewhere else by casually checking your email or catching up on Twitter. Those are activities for the metro ride home.
Do delay, when possible. Just as I’ll #latergram Mom’s curtains, delay responding to the constant stream of information arriving on your phone. If something’s urgent and the need to respond will distract you then just get it over with, but when possible stay mentally present where you are and save the text for later.
Don’t be distracted. When waiting, technology can help keep us entertained. But when it’s your time to speak to the teller or check out, put away the distraction to keep your transaction quick! Likewise, avoid collisions by not texting and walking. (We know you’d never text and drive!)
Do be aware of your surroundings. Keep volume low on phone conversations either in public places or a shared office. It’s easier for everyone to hear when not shouting over each other.