Yesterday I went to the theater with my husband and a girlfriend. We settled in to our seats, and each proceeded to take out our cell phones and check into the theater on Facebook. We tagged each other, and as we pressed post, our devices rang out notifying us we had an update. It made me wonder, what is the etiquette for this? Do we “like” each other’s post even though we are right next to each other? Will it soon be like buying a round? “Hey, I’ll get the first check in, and you can get dinner”
So it made me wonder, is there a price to pay for “Individual Electronic Freedom”?
If the norm today is for each of us to have “Personal” handheld device, does it even the playing field?
Is this a good thing or bad thing?
Is there a set of norms for what is acceptable and unacceptable? Will we need to create one?
What would Emily Post do in this situation? (I threw this in because I was raised to always ask, what would Emily Post do?)
At dinner we each checked in, but did not tag each other, and we started to discuss the pros and cons of personal devices?
I now share my point of view.
The biggest Pro for me is communicating with my children. I clearly know that they are rolling their eyes when I ask them to do something, but it doesn’t matter because I can’t see them. When my son turned20 and started living in a different city, it was clearly inappropriate for me to ask him when he was coming home; I could however ask him to text me and let me know he was alive after 2AM.
It is also great for making plans, locating people at conferences, and quick communications.
The biggest Con is that one can rely on it to keep in touch with friends when there is really no substitute for one-on-one contact whether on the phone and even better, in person!
On Television Watching:
I was so excited when I got my IPAD. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world that I could sit in the same room with other family members and each watch our own program.
I now wonder if this is really a good thing? Is this what family Television Night is suppose to be like? It makes me long for the days of watching “The Brady Bunch” and “Partridge Family” with my brother. I still remember the excitement I used to feel on Sunday Night when the “Wonderful World of Disney” came on right after “Mutual of Omaha”? I hate not having someone to get excited about a series with!
Is fighting over the remote really that bad? Isn’t it the way children learn about conflict resolutions and compromise?
On Cleaning the House:
This is one aspect of “Individual Electronic Freedom” that has absolutely no down side. As I have mentioned in past blogs and will mention again in the future, I hate cleaning the house! I do however, love listening to Audiobooks! This is the perfect multi-tasking activity, matching something you love with something you hate! Oh, how I treasure my IPOD!
On Internet Shopping:
It makes it easier, need I say more?
On Personal Readers:
Now this took some getting used too, but convenience prevailed. I’m over it!
So now, many of us have had to insist that our love ones and children come to the dinner table with washed hands and no cell phones or insist that our colleagues come to meetings and leave their cell phones at the door. I only hope that the next generation learns to put down their phones when they are on dates or how the next generation will deal with this issue will be a moot point!
As with all evolution and uncharted waters, we will have to figure it out as we go along. We will learn to take the good with the bad, set our boundaries and take comfort in the fact that we are all in the same boat. I am sure if Emily Post was alive today, even she would be perplexed.