Would you pay to keep diners at your favorite restaurant off of their cell phones? A restaurant in L.A. is doing just that.
Eva restaurant in West Hollywood is offering a 5% discount to customers if they check their cell phone at the door. While this is an interesting story, more importantly, it shows how new technology is being developed faster than etiquette can adjust. While common etiquette has become second nature, tech etiquette is fairly new, and the rules are constantly changing.
Having proper technology etiquette does not have to be a pain; there are many ways you can make it fun. One way is by making a game out of it. For example, when you are out at a bar or restaurant with friends or co-workers, place all of your phones in the center of the table. Whenever someone reaches out to answer or use his or her phone, that person pays for the next round of drinks, or food.
Tech etiquette is not always as simple as just putting your phone away, however. Here are several behaviors that you should avoid:
1. You are sitting with someone, holding a conversation, and they take out their phone and start texting, and you feel like they are not paying attention to you. Do not check your phone when you are with other people. If you are expecting an important text, call, or email, let the person know beforehand.
2. You are walking down the sidewalk, when someone who is browsing the internet runs right into you, causing you to drop your things everywhere. Do not walk and text, email, or browse the internet. Not only does it look bad, you also risk harming yourself or others.
3. You meet an old friend while on the subway, and start up a conversation, but you can’t help but feel they are not listening with both of their headphones still in. When you run into someone while you have your headphones in, take them out to talk with them. If you keep them in, you are implying that they are not important.
4. You are sitting at the Department of Motor Vehicles, waiting your turn, when you hear loud screams, yells, and the sound of zombies from the phone the person next to you is holding. Turn off the sound to your phone when in use. The sounds from games, applications, or for other uses can be disruptive for those around you.
5. You are sitting in the theatre, watching the new release intently. The climactic scene is unfolding, when a bright light shines below you, drawing your attention and making you miss a vital part of the movie; someone has just opened their cell phone to respond to a text message. Keep your cell phone off during movies.
6. You are standing in line for checkout at the grocery store, and the person in front of you is taking a long time. The cashier is trying to hurry them along, but they are more interested with the conversation they are having on their phone than checking out and moving on. When you are checking out at a store, ordering food, or anything else where you are talking with someone, you should never be on the phone.
7. You are waiting in line at the bank with your child, when the latest hardcore rap song starts playing from the pocket of the person in front of you – it is their ringtone. When possible, keep your cell phone on vibrate. If you have your phone in a briefcase or bag, and need it on ring, keep it on the default ringer. This is so that you will not disturb others with an obnoxious song or ringtone.
8. You are eating at your favorite restaurant, trying to hold a conversation with your friends, but you keep getting talked over by the person who is shouting into his phone a few tables away. When you are on the phone in public, make a conscious effort to keep your voice at a normal level. Often when on the phone, we speak louder than normal, and do not realize it.
While tech etiquette is constantly changing, here is one simple rule that will always apply: imagine you are the other person, and if you would find it rude, then do not do it.
Are we missing any rules? If so, tell us in the comment section below.