Thursday, May 28, 2009

Etiquette and netiquette

As new tools are available to us, we need to learn new ways to use them. It seems like cell-phones and text messages is the new "issue" in manners at the moment. The article in NY Times is a very good example of how we need to develop new ways to integrate the new technology in our lives.

At our table, texting is no problem. Not that it never happens, but if you receive and send a text message at the table with our family, you're expected to share the contents. It becomes part of the family conversation. Often the sent messages are communally authored, or the person may receive the response from somebody else than they wrote to. That's a pretty efficient way to limit the texting, whoever does it. Sometimes it's nice too. Discussing the most recent cute picture of my daughter's kitten or the urgent issues at work are both typical dinner-time conversation topics anyway.

So yeah, I am more in the Danah Boyd camp here, where technology is integrated in the rituals of everyday life, rather than one of those with tech-free zones and blackberry-free hours.

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