Community & Current Events

Quick tips for tech etiquette

Quick tips for tech etiquette

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Quick tips for tech etiquette

This story was originally titled "Tech Etiquette: Keeping Considerate Connections" in the May 2011 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

We're so connected these days that it's almost impossible to switch off. Here are some guidelines for enjoying your gadgets without sacrificing your manners from Catherine Gray, an ethics expert and the content director for Transcontinental Media's English websites.


Keep at least 10 feet away from the nearest person when talking, and keep your voice quiet and restrained. Anywhere an intimate conversation isn't possible, put your ringer on vibrate, let calls go to voice mail, and go into the bathroom to check and respond to your messages if you must.

Texting, tweeting and checking email during a personal conversation or business meeting is insulting, unless you have the prior permission of those around you.

Conference calls
Don't tap away on your desk or computer – the other people on the call can probably hear you! If you're certain the person on the other end of the line is not giving you their full attention, say, “Is this a good time for us to be talking? You seem distracted.”


Tweak your privacy settings and sort your friends into three groups: real friends with whom you would share your diary; people you don't know well; and people you don't really want seeing your profile at all. Don't tag someone else's photo unless you're sure they'll be OK with their boss or kids seeing it. And don't use Twitter or Facebook at the office unless you're on a scheduled break or it's a job requirement.

MP3 players
Keep the volume low, both for the safety of your ears and so others aren't subjected to the buzz coming from your head. Remove one earbud when you're in a place where someone is likely to speak to you, then remove the other one if they do.

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Quick tips for tech etiquette