As cliché as it may sound, it is undeniable that times have changed. Better cars, new medical discoveries, and advanced technology only begin to scratch the surface. While a few years ago it would have been taboo to check your phone while in a casual conversation, today's rules play much faster and looser with the new piece of technology everyone has to have- the smartphone. Below are six helpful tips to help you navigate through today's technological society.
1. Know your audience
While hanging out with friends, it's perfectly acceptable to Google something, or make a Facebook or Twitter update. Maybe you are at a party and don’t feel like making conversation with anyone; in this case your phone can be a helpful tool to avoid standing in a corner awkwardly. However, not every social situation is the same. Leave the phone (preferably on silent) in your pocket or purse during a date, or any sort of intimate outing with others. You're out with them, so make the most of it - you can check those emails later!
2. Be in the moment
One of the many great features of smartphones is that you can take pictures or videos of exciting or interesting things. But don't let taking pictures interfere with you being present in the moment! Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but memories are priceless. Don’t be so caught up capturing one moment that you miss ten other ones, and always remember to ask others before tagging them on social media - some people may not want to share certain memories with the world!
3. Don't text and drive
Seriously! While many adults are still adjusting to the no cell phone laws that have been in place for a few years, there’s just no excuse! Texting and driving is illegal, and is reinforced with some pretty hefty fines. You can save that text - or call - for later. If you can’t and it is that important, pull to the side of the road and park. Dictate what you want written in a text to a passenger. Just don't use your phone and drive at the same time.
4. Volume control!
We get notifications about everything; all the bells, whistles, vibrations and lights could make a pinball arcade jealous. If you're in a meeting, in the middle of a serious conversation, or anywhere where you wouldn't want to suddenly hear "Who Let The Dogs Out?" blaring, put your phone on silent.
5. It's better to ask permission
When someone hands you their phone, they're trusting you implicitly. Do not break this trust by swiping - in either direction - without permission. Do unto your friend's phone as you would have them do unto yours.
6. You break it you buy it
It happens - your buddy lets you play with his shiny new phone while you're outside, and suddenly, the phone is on the ground, not so shiny anymore and the screen is broken. This is when you hope your buddy has insurance, because you have to do the right thing and foot the bill. Make sure you 'fess up to your friend, and offer to help fix his smartphone screen.If you use these six simple rules as a baseline for how you use your smartphone in the company of others, you're set up for successful encounters and more meaningful interactions with those you love.