We've become annoying, rude and antisocial with our phones and tablets
Set ground rules when friends begin filming; anything can go viral
Sticking to your smartphone screen keeps you from having creative a ha! moments
It almost goes without saying: No texting while drunk
We begin this week’s column with a stunningly beautiful quote from Anais Nin (brought to our attention by the inimitable site Brainpickings). Read it slowly because it’s that good.
(Yes, we’re enculturating you in Netiquette. We can hear the shouty, complainy e-mails already.)
“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. … This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked.
“This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”
Nin wrote those words in 1946, but she might as well have been writing them today. She starts with a YOLO and ends with a contemporary-sounding rumination of just how horrible we’ve all become now that we hold the power to be in touch with millions of people in the palms of our hands.
That’s right, we’re talking about how annoying and rude and antisocial we’ve all become with our smartphones and tablets. As CNN investigates all the ways mobile devices are changing our lives, we’d like to peel our eyes off our glowing screens long enough to recount our top eight egregious handheld errors.
These are things you literally could not do before the www went mobile; now we’re embarrassing ourselves all over the place. Please stop:
1. Drunk -tweeting, -texting, -Instagramming, etc.
Long gone are the days when the only witnesses to your inebriated ramblings were other bar patrons who also saw you stumble from your bar stool to the ground. Whether you’re able to keep it together with spelling and syntax (in which case, you’ve just got the world going, “Wait, she wants to do WHAT to Paul Ryan?!”), or your typing skills erode quickly, alcohol and mobile devices don’t mix.
2. Fooling around on your phone whenever you have a spare moment.
As writer Austin Kleon writes in his alarmingly cute book, “Steal Like an Artist,” we need unstructured time for creativity to foster, down time in which we mess around and let our disconnected thoughts gel into cool ideas.
If you turn every spare moment (a red light, a line at the salad station, a ride in the elevator) into an excuse to check yo