It’s a good idea for all gadget users to take a step back once in a while and examine how our digital habits are affecting others.
Please consider these 10 Commandments for daily digital manners:
1) You shall give top priority to those who are with you.
Listen intently when you are with friends, family members and coworkers. When you constantly check messages, you send the message that other people and things are more important to you.
2) Thou shalt not be distracted.
For safety’s sake, don’t text or engage in voice calls while driving. For the same reason, don’t let texting or voice calls distract you while walking in busy public spaces. Texting-while-walking mishaps have become such a serious problem that cities are starting to issue tickets.
3) Do not shout on the sidewalk.
It’s OK to take a call when you’re on the street. But try to keep your voice down. If you have to shout to be heard above the background noise, you should call back later.
4) Thou shalt not make private matters public.
Don’t discuss private matters in public. Remember never to text anything that is private, confidential or potentially embarrassing. Messages can be forwarded and shared with hundreds of others in seconds, and often are.
5) Do unto others as briefly as possible.
Remember that you have a captive, unsympathetic audience when you’re in a carpool or using public transportation. Only make or take a call if it’s essential. And when you absolutely must talk, keep the call short.
6) Learn how to turn that thing completely off as soon as you get it out of the box.
Then please do turn it off whenever you are in a church, a restaurant, a library, at a movie, concert, at a play — and even in a meeting.
7) Use headphones correctly.
Use headphones whenever playing games or watching videos. Get a pair of snug-fitting headphones — and wear them. There’s nothing worse than hearing sound spilling from loose-fitting earbuds. And it’s basic good manners to remove your headphones when someone is trying to speak to you.
8) Thou shalt not cause light pollution.
Lighting up a darkened environment, such as a train at night, with your jumbo tablet screen is inconsiderate. Others usually don’t really care if you ask nicely first. When in public, turn screen brightness down as a courtesy.
9) Share only with permission.
Sharing pictures of current locations is a great way to update friends and family members. Don’t take photos of strangers, however, without permission — and never post pictures of strangers on social media sites.
10) Exercise good taste.
Keep the content on your screen at a General Audiences level. Don’t call up risqué videos, photos and websites in public areas.
And, finally, please do share this week’s column — with anyone you think might agree (or even benefit). All of us in this digital world thank you!
Courtesy of USAtoday firstname.lastname@example.org.