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28 Oct

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

Nancy wants to know how you manage mobile etiquette (yes, there is such a thing.) You can follow Nancy’s other Digital Life discussions in her stream here, and you can see what else she’s up to over at the Intel Canada Facebook page.

Personally, I would have thrown his phone out the nearest window.

A friend of mine recently had her boyfriend over for a family Sunday dinner. Trouble was, the boyfriend brought somebody else, somebody who he spent the entire evening with.

That “somebody” was his iPhone and my friend was most certainly not impressed. Mobile devices have become such a huge part of our daily lives and it’s sometimes hard to put them away, but really: in a social setting like that isn’t it showing disrespect?

To be honest, putting down that smartphone or tablet can be easier said than done. We’ve done a little work in this area.  Intel recently teamed up with etiquette expert Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute to provide some great tips on how to display mobile etiquette and these guidelines can help to curb our addictions.

  1. If you don’t like others’ bad mobile behavior, don’t engage in it.
  2. Be present: Give your full attention to those you are with, such as when in a meeting or on a date. No matter how well you think you multi-task, you’ll make a better impression if the device stays in your pocket.
  3. The small moments matter. Before making a call, texting or emailing in public, consider if your actions will impact others. If they will, reconsider, wait or move away first.
  4. Talk with your family, friends and colleagues about ground rules for mobile device usage during personal time.
  5. Some places should stay private: Don’t use a mobile device while using a restroom. (I was in the restroom once when a lady came in talking on a cell phone in the stall beside me – I didn’t know whether to flush or not?).

As parents, we need to practice what we preach – and there’s no better time than the present. Intel’s Ipsos study on mobile etiquette had some startling results when it came to children’s mobile behaviours. Children are connecting with mobile devices at a young age…

  • Half of children 8-12 years old report that they have two or more mobile devices. Nearly 1 in 5 children 8-12 years old (19 per cent) say they have 3 or more mobile devices.

… and using them pretty extensively:

  • Children report spending approximately 2-3 hours per day using their mobile devices.
  • Compared to younger children (ages 8-12), teens spend significantly more time on their laptops (3.7 hours vs. 3 hours) and cell phones (2.9 hours vs. 1.9 hours).
  • One-third of children report they would rather go without their summer vacation than give up their mobile devices.

Read that last stat again – could you imagine giving up your entire summer vacation just so you could play with your cell phone? Yikes! We really need to reverse this trend. We have to remember that children will follow our example. No one’s saying to give up these useful tools but maybe we should set them aside when it’s family time.

How do you promote mobile/tech etiquette with your kids?