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Tech Etiquette

Tech Etiquette
As the holiday travel season begins, here is how to make your trip more pleasant for you and those around you.
Pioneer Press

Peter Shankman was on a U.S. flight recently when the person beside him pulled out a DVD movie to watch on his laptop computer.

That's hardly unusual nowadays, except that "it wasn't the most … um … family-friendly movie," says Shankman, head of New York-based travel-service company AirTroductions. "I didn't care so much, but I could only wonder if he'd do the same thing if he was sitting next to a five-year-old."

Shankman isn't the first traveler to run into a glaring breach of "tech etiquette" — when portable technology is used in a manner that is potentially bothersome or offensive....

For the complete article, click here: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/13416597.htm

Here's an excerpt of the technology do's and don'ts for travel:

Headphones. Use them with all gadgets. They may still be audible, so regulate the volume carefully. If you're listening for a flight announcement, keep one of your ears free.

Laptops. They're fine for work on the go, but save sensitive stuff for home, office or hotel. If you really must pull up that top-secret work memo, use a laptop privacy filter.

Pick your material. When watching movies or playing video games, weigh whether these might offend a seatmate. R-rated flicks and M-rated games might not go over well.

Don't be nosy. "It is not proper to look over someone's shoulder to see what book they are reading or what they are typing," says veteran traveler Dianne Daniels. "It's rude."

Don't disturb! Someone using a laptop and/or phones probably doesn't want to be bothered, so don't, says seasoned traveler Peter Shankman. "It screams, 'Leave me alone!' "

Typing technique. Don't type noisily with fingernail tips, says Laurie Puhn, author of a "Rudeness, Interrupted" blog (lauriepuhn.com). "Use the fleshy part of your fingers."

Bright screens. These can annoy others on night flights. Dim the screen (it will remain perfectly legible in the dark) and angle it away from a sleeping or reading seatmate.

Be space-considerate. Use of an extra-wide laptop doesn't entitle you to more elbow room. If there's a laptop user behind you, show some mercy and keep your seat erect.

Seek more space. If your flight isn't crowded, move to a more secluded seat. At a Wi-Fi hotspot, position yourself with your back to a wall, says traveler William Kotis III.

Thank you for the tech etiquette. I will print out the do's and don'ts and take them on the plane with me. Next time someone is rude I will pull out the sheet and see if he gets the hint!
It was in today's New York Times that I read a letter concerning rudeness at movie theaters. To quote: "People behave as if they are in their own living rooms, with no regard for others around them. Strangely enough, the worst offenders are adults, who should know better."

This made me think up some ideas as to how otherwise decent moviegoers would react to such misbehavior, instead of being passive. They could move to another seat, if one is available, or complain to an usher or the management. They could also wish that the offender's cellphone would get confiscated. And acting on the principle of strength in numbers, this could even result in a grassroots-type group, similar to the Straphangers' Campaign.

I even toyed with a few last-resort measures, but then decided against them. They were: dumping a bucket of popcorn over the offender, name-calling, or saying "Hurricane, hurricane, hurricane!" Perhaps otherwise decent moviegoers could even finally give in and be rude themselves (as in the saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!")
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