Modern Tech Etiquette

Now, more than ever, we're living in a connected, digital world. And that's usually a good thing. It's fast, efficient and devoid of most complications. You Uber home, order some dinner via Seamless, turn on your Apple TV and click through your Netflix queue. All while scrolling, swiping and texting away on your phone probably. But how does a guy enjoy the benefits of technology without letting it turn him into an asshole (or "glasshole," as it were)? Herewith, ten tech guidelines for the modern gentleman.


Yes, your tablet has a camera built into it. But that doesn't mean you should obscure everyone's view around you by trying to take pictures with it at a public event.

Face It:

Selfie sticks and phablets are here to stay. You don't have to use them yourself, but you can't really make fun of those who do anymore.


Keep your phone in your pocket at dinner. Even if it's on vibrate, when it starts buzzing and trembling, it'll interrupt the whole table and you'll be forced to fuss with it. If you must place it on the table, put it screen-side down to avoid distractions. Unless you're awaiting extremely important news, that text or call can wait until you're done with your meal or meeting. Remember, you can't always meet with people face to face—don't waste the opportunity (or the other person's time) by checking your phone.


In this day and age, when no one is really watching TV at the same time, one must be careful when posting opinions to social media. Don't be the guy who ruins an event or show for everyone else. That being said, if you're planning on DVR'ing a big game or season finale, do your best to stay off of Twitter.


Avoid using those "high-priority" flags and alerts when you send an email. Most people either ignore them or don't know what they are. A safer bet is to simply start your email subject with the word "urgent."

When it comes to accepting friend requests, it's wise to keep work and play separate. If a client or distant colleague sends you a request, you don't have to approve them. Maintain a profile on a business-oriented site such as LinkedIn, so you can send them a request with a note that says something like, "This is where I stay in touch with business associates. Looking forward to working together."

If you're "borrowing" someone's password for a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu or HBOGo, you're getting something of value from them so consider paying them back in some way. Buy them a drink or offer to pick up the check for dinner.


Treat emojis like inside jokes. Only use them with people you're very close with and who understand you, your humor and point of view. Don't use them with people who can't properly decode them (i.e. your boss or your parents).


The sales of unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones, as we call them) are projected to hit 400,000 in 2015, according to the Consumer Electronics Agency. If you decide to get one yourself, remember that the idea of spying on your neighbors is more appealing than the reality. Respect their privacy and take your new toy to the park—or brunch.


Fitness trackers can be great. They provide you with tons of great information you can use to get in shape, lose weight and get a better night's sleep. Just don't use that information to annoy other people with boring stats about your resting heart rate or how many calories you've burned today.


A study at Carnegie Mellon University found that those people who are good at cocktail parties and business meetings are better at the internet too.