tech business

Mind Your Tech Business

Day 5 of The Wordz Blog 2022 Relaunch, welcomes a post on this Tech Tuesday showing you the best ways you can mind your tech business when using devices outside your own home. 

 

tech business
Photo: Austin Distel on Unsplash

 

Ever been at a restaurant and overheard someone’s (should-have-been-private) cell phone conversation? Or maybe you were in line to checkout at the grocery store and someone is conversing on a device while a clerk attempts to check them out. Yep. Me too. 

 

At a time when tempers flare high, and patience is low, it will help us all to be accountable for our own contribution to the social space on a regular basis.

 

Let’s look at some ways we can practice technology etiquette when it comes to using devices in public!

1. Use Your Headphones At A Moderate Volume

 

Headphones carry the sound of your music and/or conversation past the ears when the volume is up to loud. Not only are you risking hearing loss, but you may be talking very loudly because you’re unable to hear yourself past the volume.  

 

Keeping your volume at a balanced level will ensure you are in tune with your environment and protect your valuable hearing afterward.

 

2. Stop Asking The Party Host for Their WiFi Password

 

Let’s have manners, friends. This is akin to you inviting yourself along on an excursion without being asked, or expecting someone else to pay your check following a meal at a restaurant.

 

Don’t be this person. 

 

If having WiFi is an absolute necessity while you’re out, and you don’t pay for an unlimited data plan, reconsider your provider because most companies now offer affordable, unlimited data plans, especially for families.

 

On the flip side, plan to do your work at home or in a public place that offers customers free WiFi, such as McDonald’s, a library, or Starbucks. It’s rare, but the party host may go ahead and give it to everyone. However, if it’s not offered don’t ask. This leads to #3 on the list!

 

3. Stop Plugging In When You Show Up at Someone’s House

 

To be expected, we all do it at Starbucks, McDonald’s, or the local eatery. This is not okay, especially when you show up at someone’s house and make a beeline for their nearest wall plug.

 

If you know you’re headed to someone’s house for a gathering, charge up in advance. Even better, invest in a good car charger, and plug in before starting your trip. 

 

This is actually ideal because car trouble can happen and you don’t want to be caught on the road in an emergency with your smartphone on 5%. A car charger is an absolute necessity nowadays.

 

4. Don’t Answer Calls While You’re in A Meeting

 

In this day where virtual Zoom calls are prolific for business meetings, it is easy to get used to going on mute, turning your camera off, and taking a call. This can, however, lead to a habit that becomes hard to break.

 

You know, like sitting in an actual meeting and slipping out to answer a call about what your wife wants to cook for dinner.

 

Answering calls while you’re sitting in a meeting tells your colleagues that you’re not interested in what’s being said and that you’d rather be somewhere else. This may be true, and if it is, it may be time to change perspectives or change jobs.

 

Anyway, excuse yourself, first, and then step out to take the call, only if it’s an emergency. This includes texting because writing requires thought. 

 

Most believe they are great multitaskers, but studies by the American Psychological Association have proven otherwise.

 

There is apparently a “switch cost” that comes with multitasking, or, “task-switching,” which the APA states: 

 

“…may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error.”*

Who knew? I did. I can never talk and text, or listen and text. One is sure to be an epic fail.

 

5. Take Your Call Off Speakerphone (or FaceTime)

 

I know, it’s a really great conversation you want to continue, but the family on aisle three doesn’t need to know what happened at the frat party Friday night.

 

Needless to say, the speaker allows great volume for phone conversations, but they also tell others that you’re fine with them listening in on your phone conversation. Not only is that obtrusive, but it really invades everyone else’s personal environment while in your vicinity.

 

If headphones are not an option, definitely try to finish your conversation before getting around a crowd or inside a small, public space, like a coffee shop (hint, hint).

 

When it comes to video calls, be mindful that it is also easy to get captured on someone’s camera depending on the angle. Out of respect for others’ privacy, and the fact that they may not have a signed video waiver for you, end the FaceTime call. 

 

With people leerier of their personal privacy these days, and rightfully so. You could legitimately end up in court if you happen to be streaming or recording your FaceTime call and someone’s image ends up on your recording without their written and expressed approval.

 

Sounds extra, but there are lawsuits for just about everything out there.

These are a few great ways to enjoy your device while you’re in public! Don’t see something on our list that should be included? Comment below or email me at TheWordzBlog@gmail.com so we can add it!

 

*American Psychological Association. “Multitasking: Switching Costs.” March 20, 2006. https://www.apa.org/topics/research/multitasking