Just in time for the holiday season – Texting manners from Emily Post. Growing up we were taught manners in how to greet people, introduce people – remember: Steve this is Pat; Pat this is Steve – dining manners – napkins on your lap, and where to place your napkin if you were leaving or visiting a friend at another table (on your chair or the table?) Who knew? – Who remembered? Bottom line you do not text when you are involved in any type of social interaction—conversation, listening, in class, at a meeting or, especially, at the dinner table. If you really need to communicate with someone who is not at the event—or at the table—excuse yourself, send your message, and then return as soon as you can. Who Knew? Who practices these rules?
What about text messaging at the dinner table?” If you are by yourself in the kitchen text away. No problem! But if you’re having dinner with friends and family, be with them. “The family meal is a social event.” Even if your phone is in your lap, the people with you all know what you’re doing when you’re eyes are focused on your lap. Just because it’s a quiet activity (unlike a phone call), you’re not fooling anyone. And then everyone’s attention is on the fact that your attention is on your phone, not on them. It also sends a not-so-subtle message that others are more important than those at the table yet we all deserve a friend’s undivided attention. I think in some cases it’s unconsciously meant to send the message that they’re busy and more important than their dining companions. When someone is texting, others at the table are excluded.
What drives me crazy is watching people text in a restaurant. People literally are an arms length distance from each other and they are texting – sometimes to each other. What happen to appropriate social behavior? Adults are models for children and they learn their behavior by watching adults. They take their cues and believe it is okay to be constantly texting – everywhere. They are mimicking observations so you it is futile to tell them “you should not text and converse on the phone all the time.”
Dedicated to all those who live with a “computer/software geek.”