Friday, June 27, 2014

How Do You Teach Technology Etiquette ?

Perhaps the better title of this post would have been "Just because we can does it mean we should ?" but that may be misleading or altogether confusing.  I'm specifically only referring to etiquette when using technology for communication purposes.

It is almost mind-boggling to consider the communication options that technology affords us.  I remember it being less than a decade ago when I had my first workplace video conference call.  I found it amazing to be able to see and hear business partners that were thousands of miles away.  Sure the images were limited and a little grainy, but I was in awe (and this even with my employer's technology being well behind the curve at that time with the equipment we were using).

Fast forward to this year.  I have been on a few video chats with many different people from many miles away ... on my PHONE!  The picture and sound quality are much better than they were in that office chat, and at least one of these situations involved multiple devices being connected (i.e. my phone to someone else's tablet and they are connected to someone else's phone).  Simply AMAZING right?!

And yet ... the social etiquette of these face to face conversations was nothing near what it would have been had we been speaking in person.  This has also been the case when I have received phone calls during a time that text messaging would have been more appropriate to the topic of conversation.  It also goes the other way, where we get so used to texting others that we forget the option we have to actually call and verbally converse with one another.

It seems to me that we'd all be better served to consider the time, place, mode, and purpose of conversations we are having through use of any electronics.
Does everyone need to be connected in on this call or video chat?  Does this need to be discussed now or would it be better after kids and pets have gone to bed or outside?  Wouldn't it be easier to text since the connection is spotty?

Bottom line: just because the technology exists doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

Song Of The Day:
I'm sharing "Talking Loud And Clear" by OMD with today's post.  You've likely never heard this song before, but it's a classic 80's synth-pop tune.  But that isn't why it relates to today's post.  If you take the 4 minutes to listen to the tune, I suggest paying attention to the lyrics as they are poetic and beautiful.


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