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Technology has insane potential to turn us into completely different people. We forget to say our “pleases” and “thank yous”, ladies first, the fork goes on the left side of the plate, and so on.

The rules of acceptable behaviour in everyday life are well established an

The rules of acceptable behavior in everyday life are well established and for most of us when video games, iPhone’s, tablets and laptops enter the equation, things get a little out of hand.

d, for most of us, deep-rooted since childhood. But when video games, iPhones, tablets and laptops enter the equation, things get a little out of hand.

You may have seen someone who could use a gentle nudge in the right direction such as the oblivious girl gazing into her iPhone while her date across the table is chatting away.

Is it less considerate to horde pictures from a night out when other people want to see them, or to post them on Facebook when they might not be flattering for everyone? When do you absolutely need to have your phone in vibrate mode?

Right behaviour
As a well-established form of digital communication, many people have already sorted out the ins-and-outs of e-mail. But that only raises expectations for the right behaviour.

To begin with, many people tend to abandon the conventions of proper writing just because they are doing it on a computer.

You do not have to start e-mails with a letterhead or other such relics of the print world, but omitting capitals and no punctuation? Do not be so lazy. Spell checker would do 99 per cent of the work for you. Tone, context, and subtle nuances are easily lost in translation online.

Before sending, tweeting, posting, ask yourself if your message could be misconstrued or misinterpreted.

If there is any doubt, pick up the phone. To state the obvious, e-mails cannot be undone so watch what you say and whom you copy. Do not write anything in an e-mail that you would not be comfortable saying publicly.

Jumping into online conversations, say, on Twitter or e-mail, is another area where you can get into a mess. Just as you would not insert yourself into a dialogue with strangers without first listening to the discussion, do not dive right into an exchange online.

You are bound to respond emotionally. What can you contribute to the conversation? If you cannot add insights or information of value, your commentary probably is better left unsaid. Be relevant and stay on topic.

Distraction devices
In the old days people thought that etiquette stopped at good manners at the dining table, which changed when mobile phones became a variable in the equation. Mobile phones may be the most complained about of all digital devices, and for good reason.

They distract meetings, drag private conversations into the public, push work life into personal life, shake the very foundations of marriages and with the innovation of chat and smartphones, serve as 24/7 distraction devices.

Novelty ringtones, for instance, are unprofessional and can be annoying in a business setting. Always keep your voice down. It may seem obvious, but for whatever reason, people tend to enter their own personal worlds on the phone and lose complete perspective of how loud they are being especially in already noisy places where the inability to hear the party on the other end seems to mentally translate to “must shout into the phone so they can hear me.”

Simply bringing your voice down a notch will alleviate the biggest slice of mobile phone-related irritation, and make the world a quieter place, too.

Source: Daily Mornitor