I love technology, but I don’t always love how people use it. As our interaction with gadgets and the Internet grows, so does the potential number of ways to offend each other. So I present to you the most annoying new tech habits.
Spamming Your Friends’ Facebook Feeds
Whether you are passionate about your new workplace, your cause, or your fundraiser, I completely support you in posting that info on your Facebook page – YOUR Facebook page. Posting on other people’s pages should remain personal to them; it’s their page after all. When you post your issues on all your friends’ pages, it’s basically spam. The good news is that doesn’t show up very much for their friends, but it is on their timeline and feels a little invasive.
*Only post on other people’s pages when it’s personal – birthday wishes, congratulations, or other messages of support.
Now a recent development with Facebook is that they are trying to monetize their business more, and that means more sponsored intrusions. One trend I’m noticing is that when my friends “like” certain companies, I see a lot about that like in MY newsfeed. Either my friends are crazy-nuts about cowboy boots, or Country Outfitters is sponsoring their “likes” to unprecedented levels. The occasional corporate like is totally justified, but please, don’t like everything.
*Be judicious with your likes, lest you spam your friends on Facebook.
[Related: Why (and How) to Turn off Socialcam]
Parking and Texting
Here’s the scenario: you are hunting for a parking spot. You see a parked car with the brake lights on or sometimes even the reverse lights lit up indicating the car will vacate the spot immediately. You wait…. and wait… maybe cars are honking at you as you hold up traffic. But nothing happens. Why is the car not leaving? Because the driver is texting, reading email, or checking Facebook. While not as dangerous as texting and driving, it is annoying if you’re the poor sod waiting for the parking spot.
*Please take your foot off the brake and shut your engine back off while using your phone in a parking lot.
Talking in Toilet
In the last year, I’ve noticed a lot more people answering or initiating phone calls in public bathrooms. The stall of a bathroom provides a fragile illusion of privacy. Phrases like this “Hi Sally! Gosh it’s been a long time since we chatted.” shatter that illusion. My guy friends tell me it’s even more disturbing in the men’s room.
*Unless it’s absolutely critical, please let it go to voicemail while in the loo.
Know When To Talk And When To Text
Texting is a great way to handle simple logistical communications without the entrapment of actual conversation (“Meet me in front of Burger King” or “I’ll be 10 minutes late”). But texting is not the perfect mode of communications for all conversations. This particular annoyance is about back-and-forth, Ping-Pong text:
“where are the pliers?”
“in the drawer by the monitor”
“the one to the left”
“there are two drawers to the left”
“the one immediately to the left”
“they are both immediately to the left”
“ARGHHHHHH! Call me already!”
Some conversations, even logistical ones, are nuanced or complicated.
*To put a modern spin on the deeply insightful Kenny Rogers tune “You gotta know when to text and know when to suck it up and make a phone call.”
I‘m usually not this much of a complainer. I’ve actually been accused of being perky to a fault and way too bullish on technology. But I do hope that by giving voice to feelings I’m sure are shared by millions, I can help dial back the number of times all of us get annoyed. So in that good-natured spirit, please feel free to post the tech habit that annoys you most, in the Comments; perhaps this will be a consciousness-raising experience for us all, me included.