Mobile manners

This morning as I was reading the AJC (you do know I still read the paper right?) I was so happy to see a guest column by Moxie Engauge’s very own Ashley Twist entitled, “Where are your mobile manners?“. You can read the article here but sadly you’ll need a subscription to read the entire thing ;(

In the article she introduces “in-hand behavior”, described as email, texting, social networks, etc., which interrupts one conversation to start a new one with someone else. And she appropriately points out that “nobody is quite clear on socially appropriate digital behavior.”

I try hard not to check my phone or use a laptop while talking to someone. In fact, I typically don’t bring a laptop or tablet into a meeting and instead prefer a notebook like the Moleskine Evernote Notebook simply so I can focus on the conversation and not appear to be distracted. And I struggle wearing the Pebble Watch at times because I get little buzzes when an email or text comes in and if I look down at my watch to see it, suddenly whoever I’m talking to thinks I’m looking at the time (super rude).

The reality is that there is no such thing as multitasking. You can’t do two things at the same time. You can jump between one thing to the next very rapidly but if you do that you aren’t really focusing on either thing intently. And if you’re having a conversation with someone you really shouldn’t be checking your phone or device constantly.

Unfortunately, as Ashley points out, with the continued innovation around wearable tech (Google Glass for example), this problem is only going to continue to grow. I’d bet its only going to get worse before it gets better, if it ever does.


  1. Daniel Roberts on August 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Great post! Trading in evernote or google docs for a pen and paper in meetings has been one of the hardest transitions of my life. At the same time, it’s so helpful in making the other person feel valued that I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

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