There’s never been a better time for gadgets. They’re smaller, more powerful, and present a greater opportunity for connection and life efficiency than ever before. But, along with this extreme convenience and availability, there’s also a certain amount of responsible use etiquette that needs to happen, and it does seem to be a bit slow in coming.
So although you can use your gadgets pretty much any time you have a pocket or a purse to keep them in, there are certainly times when it’s better (if not required) to turn them off or leave them at home. So whether you like it or not, a part of gadget culture is going to be understanding where not to bring them.
1. The Dinner Table
Nothing is more disruptive at a dinner table than people not paying attention to each other, or getting pings, dings and notifications every few seconds. If you’re part of a family unit, or even part of a professional unit, when it comes time to sit down and talk and eat for a little while, turn those suckers to do not disturb modes, or even leave them somewhere else for the time you’re with people. If you have everyone agree to that simple rule, personal communication is much more enjoyable.
2. Rehab Clinics
A typical rule for rehab clinics is that you have to leave those electronic devices behind. Addictive behaviors can be built in to the people you connect with via your gadgets and even the activities that you do on them (think social media, games, news updates, etc.). So if you’re going to check into a clinic and be serious about some type of illness recovery, that’s not the place for your typical gadgets.
3. Comedy Shows
Comedy shows in particular require attention and cyclical energy from the audience and the performer. Even one person on a phone can throw off an entire night for a performer, whether it’s you taking a video of them or even you just checking your texts. There’s a company that even has phone shutdown technology for such occasions.
4. Plays and Theater Showings
Anywhere that other people might find it distracting that you’re looking at a brightly lit screen, it’s socially appropriate for you to just leave it off. Especially when people have paid a lot of money to see something like a broadway show, don’t bring your gadgets in.
And the final place not to bring your gadgets, or at least to have them absolutely turned off, is out on dates when you’re actually looking to impress someone. If you disconnect from the person you’re with in order to check anything, you’re doing them a disservice, and if they do the same to you, then it’s probably time to find someone different to connect with.